Back when I was in College I was a member of the Blue Babble Battalion of the Ateneo. The group was primarily there to provide cheers and support to the Ateneo Blue Eagles. Fast forward to 2010, I am now managing the STI College Pep Squad, a group of 30 young determined and spirited individuals who performed their hearts out to provide pride to the school they love. Cheering has evolved through the years from students who are just in the stands shouting, cheering and chanting are now dancing, tossing and back flipping.
The Olympians take the court
Knowing fully well that the new generation of cheer leaders are more athletic and in good physical condition made me ponder if it would have been my norm during my time. It used to give me laughs whenever I remembered taking the court to lead the Ateneo gallery into cheers. I would have to say that if given the chance I would n’t make it past the tryouts today with the big demands a male cheer leader has to go to. But cheer leading and cheer dancing are two different things and in my time leading the cheers was closest to my heart.
That is why I am proud of my STI College Pep Squad. From a group of newbies last year who practiced for one month and landed tied for sixth the scrappy group just performed what they can do and did not force things that they cannot do. No back flips, no scorpion moves and other complicated stunts that other schools do with the greatest of ease. This year it was a bit different. After seeing the team perform I was amazed with the improvements by the cheer dancers which was the fruit of their more than 5 months training. The stunts were better, the base was firmer, the arabesque, scorpion and other formations were nailed and the dance was more coordinated with each and everyone showing immense confidence in their moves.
The team was a point away from getting fourth place as St Clare College scored 150.5 points while the STI team got 150 which was good for fifth place, a modest target and more importantly it was the target that the team aspired for. Much more than that were the technical deductions which was a mere 4.5 points. This gets me more excited and I would just like to say that I am proud of my pep team and I hope that we will share more sacrifices and triumphs next school year. GO STI College Olympians you did us proud.