The Grambling State University cheerleading squad set out to Daytona, Fla. on March 30 to participate in the 2010 National Cheerleading competition. The cheerleaders, under the direction of coach Terry Lilly, are known for mesmerizing performances and stellar stunts. As the squad prepared for their departure, member Courtney Samuels shared his experience and reflected on his time spent preparing for the competition.
“I am very excited about going to nationals, but sad at the same time because this is my last year.
“Practice has been practice. We have practiced during the entire Spring Break twice a day from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. with a break for lunch then go back and practice from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.,” Samuels said.
The team was determined to strive for perfection and for the past five year has been a force to reckon with.
“Eight teams will be competing for the title this year. Our biggest competition will be Steven F. Austin College, George Washington University and Weber State College.
“Our routine will stick if everyone does as expected. Last year Steven Austin College came in second so they will be in their ‘A’ game,” Samuels added.
The GSU cheerleading team was the only HBCU team to compete at the national level until this year. Prairie View A&M joined the Tigers. “Being that GSU has been the only team to perform at this level for the past couple years, it’s excited to see another HBCU join us. It’s always good to see fellow HBCUs stand out. To me, it feels as though GSU is paving the way,” Samuels said.
The competition began April 1 and lasted until April 5. Although the Grambling State University cheerleading team did not win, they placed fifth in the overall competition. GSU was the only team to place and represented the university with pure distinction. Highlights of the competition will be aired on ESPN.