Feeling cheery for the new WolfPack season

Cheerleaders have big plans for the year, both on and off campus

Nathan Weissbock, Contributor Ω

With the beginning of the athletic season underway, the WolfPack cheerleaders have begun their selection and training for the upcoming season.

Kira Cheeseborough is tossed in the air by Ryan Robinson, Shannon Blakely and Pamela Tulliani. Nathan Weissbock/The Omega

Kira Cheeseborough is tossed in the air by Ryan Robinson, Shannon Blakely and Pamela Tulliani. Nathan Weissbock/The Omega

Tryouts for the cheerleaders began the weekend of Sept. 7, when 30 athletes auditioned for spots on the team.

When asked what coaches were looking for in potential cheerleaders, head coach Shannon Blakely said “Mainly body awareness and dexterity, along with dedication and effort. This sport is based heavily on trust and all players need to be able to trust each other, as well as be here for every practice so we can progress as a team.”

Tryouts consisted of testing the players’ abilities in the following categories: tumbling, dancing, cheering, jumping and stunting – stunting is a prime component in cheerleading that includes lifting and tossing teammates into the air, with the expectation that the vaulted person will perform some type of aerial feat.

For the coming season, the cheerleaders were fortunate to gain a few promising new members, one of whom is Logan Keegan-Boucher, an experienced cheerleader who has spent a number of years perfecting her abilities in the sport.

“I’ve done cheer for eight years,” Keegan-Boucher said. “I have been to world championships three times, and managed to snag a top-five spot one of those times.”

Emily will look to help a WolfPack team that had some success in competitions last year. In 2012-13 the cheerleaders competed in both the Sea to Sky International Cheerleading Championship in Vancouver and a cheer competition in Edmonton, placing third in both events. The team also sent a quintet of players to compete in the Okanagan Cheerleading Championship in Kelowna, that group placed second.

Tatianna Landry, a former veteran on the team, also entered into an individual tumbling competition in which she finished first in her division.

While the cheerleaders continue to support WolfPack teams this season, they will also be entering competitions of their own, and continue to participate in a number of community and charity events around Kamloops. Last year, Paws for a Cause, Walk for Memories, Run for the Cure, Basics for Babies, Dreamlift Day, Santa Claus Parade, Family Literacy Day and TRU’s Casino Night all had help from the cheer team.

“We are really excited for this year,” said assistant coach Kelsey Boule. “We think that with some hard work, we have a real shot at a victory in Sea to Sky this year.”

This upcoming Thursday, the cheerleaders will play host to Tight n’ Bright Night at Heroes Pub, raising money for upcoming competitions.