The club cheerleading team will represent SVSU at the National Cheerleader’s Association (NCA) and the National Dance Alliance (NDA) College Nationals in Daytona, Florida from April 8 to 12, 2020.
The team received the bid to go to nationals at a camp in Louisville during the summer. At camp, they earned points given by the NCA staff and other teams. They were also scored based on rally and game day performances.
“In our division, we were up against Southern Illinois and Wayne State,” head coach Ben Fuller said. “Honestly, we looked really great. It was going back and forth between us and Wayne State the entire time, and so we’re really excited to see how we do at nationals.”
This is Fuller’s first year as coach. He hopes the team will finish in the top three at nationals.
“I just want them to succeed,” he said. “We placed eighth at nationals last year, which is the best they’ve done in a really long time. I really want them to be top three, which they have the potential to win, if we really kick it into high gear.”
Fuller believes the team’s success this year may help them become a varsity sport again.
“Our goal would be to be a varsity sport again, but we’ll see how that goes,” Fuller said. “So, we’re just hoping to bring our rep up a little bit and bring some success to the program.”
To prepare for nationals, the team will have to work hard and work together.
Co-captain Elizabeth Saint Onge, an internationals relations sophomore, looks forward to how the season will progress.
“Everyone is so positive. It’s a really good environment,” she said. “I’m really excited to see how everyone progresses. I think we have a really good community this year … I look forward to see how far we go.”
The team has 32 members and is coed for the first time in five years.
“This team is awesome. We’re happy to be coed again.” Fuller said.
Typically, the team only attends one competition, and they cheer on the sideline at football games. With the increase of members, however, things may change.
“We have two boys this year, and that’s a big change that puts us in a whole different division,” said Shelby Czartoryski, coco-captain and nursing sophomore. “We have one nationals competition. We might be going to a few more now that we’re a bigger team.”