This past Friday night, the Canisius men’s basketball team had their home opener against Iona. Although the Griffins lost (69-57), the energy of the first home game of the year was good enough for myself and for my team.
The weeks leading up to a big game are always stressful, and this season was no different for my cheerleading team. We had 3 practices the week of the game. On Monday we had a girl quit early because she found out she’d be officially transferring next semester, and on Wednesday we had a girl dislocate her elbow while tumbling, leaving us to have to rearrange everything in just one practice on Thursday night, just hours before the KAC filled up with students, faculty, and alumni for the big game. Now many people may think “Oh well that’s easy, what do you guys have to do? Just sit around and yell, right?” Nope, wrong.
For the home opener, we had to do an opening routine with the dance team, a time out which was a cheer that included signs, tumbling, and stunts, a half-time competition routine that included rolling out the mats, a cheer, tumbling, tosses, jumping, stunting, more tumbling, and dancing, and finally a routine that included tumbling, jumping, and stunting. And that was all on top of the cheers that we have to do to get the crowd involved and the activities we have to do on behalf of the athletics department. To rearrange all of that in one practice was difficult to say the least.
Lucky for me, I have a coach who is extremely organized, and a small group of girls who are dedicated, optimistic, patient, understanding, and flexible – both with their skills and with their schedules.
Even though the basketball team lost, our cheerleading team did a phenomenal job. The Associate Athletic Director of the college told our coach that our performance at half time was the best that Canisius has ever done. We were complimented by students, faculty, and friends, and it was a feeling of accomplishment and respect that made not only the past week, but the past 4 months of our hard work extremely worthwhile.