Cheerleading ramps up schedule in 2021 receiving full varsity promotion

Lafayette+Cheerleading+has+been+present+and+spirited+at+all+of+the+football+and+basketball+games+this+year.+%0A%28Photo+Courtesy+of+Caroline+Burns+22%29

Lafayette Cheerleading has been present and spirited at all of the football and basketball games this year. (Photo Courtesy of Caroline Burns ’22)

Charlie Berman, Assistant Sports Editor

Athletes making plays on the field of Fisher Stadium or the courts of Kirby Sports Center may easily draw attention. However, the Lafayette Cheer Team, present at every home football and basketball game, often does not receive the same recognition.

However, this may begin to change. Cheerleading recently became a full varsity team. With seven new freshmen and a revamped training regiment, the team has been ready for this change for a long time.

“Now that we are full varsity, we are practicing five times a week, with three practices and then two additional team lifts,” senior captain and flyer Lauren Krock said. “We are definitely much stronger than we have been in previous years because of our practice schedule, which gives us more chances for team bonding.”

The COVID-19 pandemic severely limited the number of games and practices that the team was allowed to cheer for last year as both men’s and women’s basketball teams banned attendees and there were only two home football games.

Additionally, the ability to practice inside was strictly monitored and the football games only happened during the winter, which cut down many of their practice opportunities last season.

The promotion has led to an increase in the amount of time they have spent practicing and getting ready.

“I have noticed a ramp up since last semester,” sophomore base Lydia Houser said.

With the new members stepping on campus for the first time this fall, the new recruits only know a full varsity team contributing to a team-wide mindset change. The whole team has locked in to compliment the first years and their all-encompassing attitude adjustment.

“The freshman don’t know what it was like before, and the upperclassman have adjusted quickly cheering every day now,” Krock said. “Us as captains [Krock and Kara-Lyn Moran ’22] have noticed that the team is much stronger and more cohesive.”

It is not just the captains that have noticed this more close-knit team.

“We’ve implemented a new rule where every time after practice, we eat dinner together, and it has made us so much closer,” Houser said.

Coach Billie Weiss has also played a major part in this transition to a full varsity team by pushing the team to further dedicate themselves to Lafayette cheer.

“We are trying to get the girls to work together and make sure that everyone is contributing the added time and effort now that we are full varsity,” Krock said. “Our coach has been doing the same, really wanting all of us to have more of a team mindset.”

Lafayette Cheerleading hopes to use this momentum to eventually become an official Division I team.

“We are excited to continue on the legacy of Lafayette cheer to be a D1 sports team to grow our program in the future,” Krock said.

The Lafayette cheerleaders can next be seen tomorrow at the men’s basketball game against Princeton at Kirby Sports Center at 2 p.m.