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Boiler Bytes : Purdue Cheerleaders Win National Championship

Boiler Bytes : Purdue Cheerleaders Win National Championship


Hi, I’m Ally Chaney and welcome to Boiler
Bytes. Usually you see this team of Purdue athletes on the sidelines at
every football and basketball game, but in 2018 this spirited squad took center
stage when they competed for and won a national championship. It’s all or nothing. It’s one shot once you make it to finals. It’s very intense. And we had that mindset that we weren’t
going to lose. Then you have two and a half minutes to show the judges that you’re the best in the country. The Spirit Squad is made up of two separate
teams. There’s the co-ed team and the all-girl team. It’s about 45 to 50
cheerleaders depending and then five or six Purdue Pete’s who do the various
games and events around campus. We support most of the athletics programs
including the football team… the basketball teams, the volleyball team. We do a lot of community events and then we also compete nationally. We’re the
ambassadors for the school. So it’s just something that’s good to be a part of.
The most important part of our job is to lead the crowd. You know get the crowd
involved in those games in Mackey and in Ross-Ade. And make them truly want to be a
part of the game day atmosphere. And ultimately to put on a show for them. We’re the entertainment. And it’s not very hard to do with great atmospheres like Mackey and Ross-Ade. The atmosphere within Mackey Arena is breathtaking. You know Mackey’s like piercingly loud. It’s a ton of energy. It’s just really exciting and it’s
really cool to be a part of. The Spirit Squad, cheerleading, being a
mascot, there is no offseason. They’re definitely putting in at least 15 to 20
hours when you throw in practice, games, workouts, especially first semester. There’s two weekends in November we’ll cheer volleyball, football, men’s
basketball, and women’s basketball all in one week. The commitment is definitely at
minimum a part-time job for sure. It’s a huge time commitment but it’s really
rewarding. Purdue’s Spirit Squad is a non-scholarship program. So there is no
financial assistance that we offer the current cheerleaders or Purdue Pete’s. So
it is completely voluntary. We definitely receive a lot from
Athletics. One thing that’s really helped me is the tutoring program. So athletics
provides us with free tutors like they do all the other athletes. To be in cheerleading
you definitely have to be an athlete. There’s no doubt. I think some people don’t really realize the amount of athleticism behind it. There’s two
completely different aspects of what we do. Most people see us at games shaking
our pom-poms using the signs to get the crowd involved. They’re like that’s not a
sport. But then the other aspect of what we do is what we do for our national
competition in January. Males and females are lifting other females into the air. You know throwing them eight to ten feet in the air while they’re twisting and
flipping and then catching them. Tossing the girls, and holding them in the air
it’s not really an easy thing to do you kind of have to be a little bit strong
to do it. We do three and a half high pyramids. People stand on top of people,
flip them up there. I mean you have to be in great shape. You have to be a good athlete to be able to do what we do. Competitions have been a huge part of the history of Purdue cheerleading. We’ve been competing every year at Nationals
since I believe 1993 and have been competitive in the early 2000s. Was top
five, took second one year. So our nationals team is selected during the
fall from our larger Spirit Squad program. And we basically practice fall
through Christmas break. We’re here over Christmas for all but seven days of break. We do two weeks of two-a-days. So basically have practice all day long. And get ready to perform down at Nationals, which is the second week of January. Our nationals team competed for the UCA division one small co-ed title. It was a long journey that we had to take to get there. We had a lot of injuries and a lot
of changes that we had to make to the routine pretty late in the season. You
could tell that there was like never lack a fight in the team, and you could
tell that we were going down there to do something special. The thing about College Nationals and Cheerleading Nationals in my opinion is we’re crazy.
Because the routines two and a half minutes long, and so you’re putting
together a two and a half minute routine and you’re hoping to do it twice. So
you’re putting in all that time, and all that energy, and all that effort for five
minutes. After we performed our final routine, and we hit, and knowing we hit there was just overwhelming joy right in that moment on the mat. I knew we had a really good shot of winning, we had a great routine. We could not have
done much better. It was about as best as we could do. Our coach had said when we
walked off like that’s the feeling that you know, not necessarily when they call
your name because you know in that moment like it was meant to be you and
you did everything you could. When they announced the second-place
team we knew we won, and then when they finally announced it I literally don’t
remember it. ANNOUNCER: PURDUE UNIVERSITY I think all of us were screaming and hitting our hands on the floor. I was definitely shocked when they announced our name. I’ll never forget seeing our coach’s faces. It’s a crazy feeling when all your hard work
pays off. But to finally break through and win the national championship this year was great. As soon as we won I got literally hundreds of text messages, including from our AD Mike Bobinski. We got recognition right away at the
men’s basketball game. The crowd went nuts. It was very loud. It was awesome that 14,000 people on their feet clapping and
yelling for you, and congratulating you on a championship win. I do it because I love
everything that it has taught me, in terms of time management. Like I’ve
become a stronger person, my teammates are lifelong friends, and I truly believe
that I love my university now more because of it. The program, obviously we’ve gotten a lot
of responses from other kids from around the country who are now interested in
Purdue, want to join the program. But ultimately nothing changes. Our focus
will always be in supporting Purdue Athletics. Supporting football, volleyball,
and the basketball teams. And to always hold ourselves to the highest standard of
being a Boilermaker. You know I hope that this past year’s team realized that you know if you keep digging, you keep pushing, eventually good things happen to good people that put in the extra work. The Purdue Spirit Squad will be back at it this fall and winter firing up Boilermaker
fans at Ross-Ade Stadium and Mackey Arena. And in January of 2019 the team will travel back to Orlando, Florida to defend their national title. That will wrap up this edition of Boiler Bytes. Remember that you can watch all of
our past stories at boilerbytes.com. See you next time.

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