Do you have what it takes to be a WIU cheerleader?

Allison Young , Opinions Editor

“N-E-C-K-S! Let’s go necks!” If you’ve ever been to a sporting event where there are cheerleaders, this may be a cheer you’ve heard before. You may be wondering why in the world I would be incorporating cheers into my article, but the answer is simple; Cheerleading tryouts are in less than a week! There are so many good things that come with being a Western cheerleader and I’m here to tell you why you should join tryouts.

First things first, cheerleading is one of the best ways to make new friends. I remember as a freshman I was so worried about finding people I would mesh with at Western. It was something that I was so nervous about, as most freshmen are as well, but when I came for open gym practices I realized how many amazing people I was going to encounter. When I made the team, I was ecstatic, and I felt a little bit better about having some people I knew and could count on.

The other thing about cheer that I really appreciate is that you have responsibilities outside of just practice and games. We have study hours, workout hours and community service hours as well. It sounds like a lot, but it isn’t too much to handle. In the past, our goal was to have 15 hours of community service hours per semester, and if you think about it, that’s only about an hour every week of the semester. Plus, the activities that are considered to be community service are so much fun and it flies by.

In my opinion, the best part about being a cheerleader is the opportunities that come with it. In my previous two years of cheerleading at WIU, I have gotten to travel to ISU, UNI, South Dakota and Utah. Each year, there are different travel opportunities and it has been so amazing to experience that. It also means getting to meet so many other athletes along the way. I am familiar with so many people from several different sports just from being at games and supporting them. It makes walking across campus so much fun because everywhere you go, there are athletes and faces that you know.

So, after reading this article, I am sure that you are ready to hear the details of the tryouts! This coming Monday, Aug. 26 at 6 p.m., tryouts will begin in Brophy Hall. We will be learning cheers, the fight song, stunting, tumbling and more! Monday is the day that we will be learning all of the material needed to tryout, but we will also have Tuesday to practice, and that will make Wednesday the day of actual tryouts. There are a few items that you will need to bring with you such as a current transcript or letter of acceptance to WIU, insurance card, proof of a physical and the $25 tryout fee. If you have any interest in joining the team, I hope to see you there! Cheerleading at Western has changed my life and I hope that it can do the same for others as well!