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Spirit Squad gets set to soar again

Group adds five new members

In preparation for Spirit Squad tryouts, Ashley Rozatti leads a group of potential members in practice cheers. The tryouts consisted of separate groups of potential members who performed cheers based on various sport situations. For example; the judges asked the potential members to perform a cheer based on a scenario that the football team is on defense and the opposing team is in scoring position. The tryouts brought out a total of seven women. Five were chosen to join the squad. / photo by Warren Bessant

Nolasco Pesina
Staff Writer

Even with a few minor drawbacks there is no keeping the La Verne Spirit Squad down.

This year’s team started out with 11 highly motivated women and toward the middle of the semester five dropped out.

“Because it is a new team we do have to do everything on our own,” Ashley Zamora, member of the Spirit Squad said. “It is time consuming and some of the members couldn’t juggle spirit squad and school, and a lot of our girls worked.”

The squad recently held tryouts, which brought out seven ULV women. Out of these seven, five of them made the squad.

“I was really excited when I first saw them; they are willing to learn and wanted to be there.” Elizabeth Roberts, a squad member said. “They showed a lot of dedication by practicing after hours and getting the routines down.”

Understanding the difficulty of being part of a new club on campus, the spirit squad has changed a few things.

They only practice two times a week and don’t attend all the sporting events because it is really hard on the entire team.

“We’ve begun to main stream our events, to minimize our load and focus on major events,” Ashley Rozatti, captain of the spirit squad, said.

The University has seen two attempts of organizing a Spirit Squad in the last five years. Both have been unsuccessful because of a lack of funding and all the effort needed to start a spirit squad on a small campus like La Verne.

“Finding the right girls is a challenge, especially with the number of girls here,” Roberts said.

The Spirit Squad knew they had their hands full with a lack of money coming from the school, forcing the team to pay for their own uniforms and to find their own transportation to the games.

“We do a lot of fund raising to try and raise money for our team, to try and buy our uniforms and hopefully get insurance to cover us,” Rozatti said.

A big issue facing the Spirit Squad is that they are not covered by the school’s insurance policy. Five years ago the University took the Spirit Squad off its insurance, keeping the team grounded by not allowing them to perform stunts and tumbles.

“We do a lot of fundraising as far as getting our own insurance, it is very expensive,” Rozatti said. “Not being able to stunt and tumble doesn’t allow us to grow the way we would like to, towards becoming a traditional squad.” Rozatti said.

With the team facing so many obstacles, it is easy to see why they have become so close to one another.

“We are all really close, and we’ve just added five new girls that I feel will compliment the squad,” Rozatti said. “With everything we have gone through I would consider ourselves cheer sisters.”

The women are looking forward to welcoming their newest members to the group and to start the new year off right with a new force and stronger squad.

“We don’t want to take any steps back; we are already half way through the semester and would like the squad to grow the way we all know it can.” Zamora said.

Nolasco Pesina can be reached at nolasco.pesina@laverne.edu.

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