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Cheerleaders unite the Raider teams and fans

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Eleven hard working athletes work to unite as a family, team, and hard-working group of people

Andrea Bell
Staff Writer

Lost among the many sports taking place on campus are the cheerleaders, and even though cheerleaders often get top billing and everyone knows whom they are, the hard working cheerleaders at this college often get lost in the commotion of the basketball games.

Cheerleaders are often not regarded as athletes; they dance and yell, always with a smile plastered onto their faces. Joyce Gaines, one of the cheerleaders on campus explained the rigorous practices that the 11-person team has to go through to prepare themselves for the performances that can be seen at the basketball games. “We practice for four or more hours twice a week.” Explained Gaines.

Though eight hours of practice might not be seen as much their practices consist of lifting the other cheerleaders, as well as push-ups and dancing.

The captain of the team Brittney Jaraman explains how practices run, what they work on, and punishments for doing certain things. “If we drop anyone while lifting and throwing them, we have to do push-ups.” Said Jaraman.

Jaraman went on to explain how the team is like family and how everyone is always there for one another.

The coach Danyelle Bennest is new to coaching for Pierce but not new to coaching a cheer squad. “I’ve coached at other schools, but I have never seen any other team with as much talent, or with a great sense of family. This is easily the best team I’ve ever coached” Bennest said.

Bennest’s cheerleaders are like a family “I have five children, however I also have 11 more on this team.” Explain Bennest.

The cheer leading team is a combination between Fort Steilcoom’s campus and Puyallup’s campus. So cheerleaders are rushing in-between classes and campuses. That takes dedication and time.

The cheerleaders meet every Tuesday and Friday, and start at 1P.M. During their practices they work on what they would perform in their game. As well as half time dances.

On the 11-person team there are three boys as well as three girls who are what they call flyers, meaning they are the ones that get throw in the air. The men on the team are the ones who help lift the girls. One of the men Patrick Tomlinson can throw a girl three feet into the air and re catch her. “Most athletes lift weights, we lift athletes” Said Tomlinson.

Look for the cheerleaders at the next few basketball games of the season, and pay attention for updates about when the tryouts will be.

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The student news site of Pierce College in Lakewood, Washington.
Cheerleaders unite the Raider teams and fans