With a new group of women, a new coach and a new set of routines the University of La Verne’s Spirit Squad is looking to make sure every student is proud to be a Leopard.
A final set of tryouts were held on Sept. 2 to determine the final squad, but adding new members to the squad is not the only issue current members are dealing with.
With no money coming in from the University, head coach Morgan Sternquist and current members have to pay for their own uniforms and find transportation to all athletic events off campus.
“I want to go big,” Sternquist said. “I want this to be a legitimate squad. I want up to 30 girls, but we’re going to have to start slow.”
Five women showed up to the final try out for one last chance to land a spot on the squad.
Led by captain Rachel Coble and co-captain Ashley Rozatti the women learned a routine and showed off their chanting abilities.
A good set of lungs is not all Coble was looking for in new members.
“We want girls that have a sense of dedication and a willingness to learn,” Coble said. “I want them to gain leadership and have fun.”
From pointed toes to a loud clap, every move had to be sharp and precise.
Having to be perfect did not get to the women trying out, as many of them said that they had done this before and were not nervous.
“I cheered before and I liked it a lot,” junior Elizabeth Roberts said. “I want to form lasting friendships and to really work on my confidence.”
Roberts was one of four girls, from the three different tryouts, who made it onto the squad.
The lack of budget is an issue holding the squad back.
Sternquist said that she and the girls are getting creative and finding affordable ways to deal with the uniform and pom poms situation.
Sternquist was the cheerleading coach for St. Lucy’s High School in Pomona for eight years and she said she is used to a much bigger group of girls.
However, it is evident that the current members of the squad and Sternquist have no problem getting along, as they talked about different ways to raise money and what color bows they should wear.
Coble wants the squad to not be overlooked by students on campus, and she wants to bring a positive energy to the university.
“We want to be seen as an organized group that brings spirit back to the school because it’s been lacking that for a long time,” she said.
Elsie Ramos can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.