MSU cheerleading handles busy November
As the only team involved in four sports schedules at once, the MSU Cheerleading team is busy after transitioning into its busiest month of the year — November.
Head coach Elyse Packard said besides preparing for the first football and volleyball games during the month of August, November is the busiest period because all four sports the team cheers for are in season.
“Of course, we also hope that the month of March will be busy,” Packard said. “We cheer for both the men’s and women’s basketball teams and want to see them succeed in the NCAA tourney.”
In addition to sideline cheer, the team also has to prepare for competitive nationals in January.
“During the entire fall sports season, we are working on our skill building for our national competition,” Packard said. “Adding extra practices to everything else can be overwhelming at times, (but) we make it work. We prioritize our game preparation as always being first and then we work on our nationals routine once that is complete.”
With an already hectic schedule, the team devotes nearly all its time towards the multi-season schedule.
“Our nationals team is made up of nine females and 11 males who stay after practice twice a week to work on the routine, as the skills involved are not what we typically perform at a game,” Packard said. “We will also be staying during our winter break and holding two-a-day practices to get the bulk of the work done.”
Biomedical laboratory science and political science senior Ryan Jose has set a goal during her final season at MSU to place at the UCA College National Championships and also embrace the busy schedule.
“Things can get hectic with games, practice and school but it pays off in the end,” Jose said. “Beating (University of Michigan) was my favorite part so far. Watching that blocked punt and touchdown from the sidelines was one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever been a part of.”
For psychology senior Ariel Graham, the first game was a great way to start her senior season as a Spartan cheerleader.
“Although it was rainy and cold for the opening game, it was amazing to see the die-hard fans that will stick with their team through it till the end,” Graham said. “It made the game that much more fun and exciting.”
For now, the team continues to manage a balance between football, basketball, volleyball and spending extra time to prepare for the UCA College National Championships in January.