Deandra Washington, Staff Writer
Photo credit by Shorter Sports
The Shorter University cheerleading team is working hard during their morning lifts and nightly practices to bring back two national championships from the National Cheerleading Association in Daytona Beach, Florida. Head cheerleading coach Rachel Magness said “Last year we came up short, both teams got 2nd place, but this year I’m feeling that we will be bringing back two 1st place trophies instead” The cheerleading team consists of an Intermediate All-girl team and an Advance Large Coed team. Both teams now have choreography and each team member is working hard to do their part on and off the mat.
Sophomore nursing major, Caitlin Wells says that the all-girl cheerleading team is working hard to make sure they are prepared and ready for nationals this year. “Winning nationals will take the team coming together as a family and having the same mind set,” Wells says “It takes everyone wanting the same thing and giving the routine all they have every single time. We only have two times to prove that we want it and we have to make them count.”
Last year, senior psychology major, Chad Butler was on the Shorter Cheer Hawks small coed team and he says it feels amazing to be competing in the advanced large coed division this year at nationals. “There are some good teams in our division this year. Young Harris is going to be a good competition as well as Columbus State. So, it will be fun to compete against those two schools for sure,” Butler says. Butler and senior general studies major David Streeter are honorary captains on the large coed team. Butler says that he believes people really respond to leaders who lead by example and he will do just that by going the extra mile at every morning lift or nightly practice. “I love lifting my teammates up when they may be having a bad practice or struggling in one area of the routine. Something as simple as pulling a teammate to the side, looking them in the eye, and saying to them that I believe in them, I think that makes a world of difference.”
Shorter’s all-girl cheer team has won the title before three times in a row. Other teams will be well aware that Shorter will be returning to compete in the intermediate division, and those teams will be working just as hard as Shorter. “In my opinion, our only competition is us,” says Wells.
The Shorter cheerleading team has two performances coming up, one at Young Harris College and the other at Georgia Tech to showcase their routine and a chance to perform in front of an audience before Nationals in April. “We have to perform better than we ever have.” says Wells.