Cheerleaders win 19th
By Marshall Bellamy
AND UP NEXT, FLAMING BATONS. The Western cheerleading team
towers its way to victory.
MISSISSAUGA—With a mind-boggling display of flippity kicks,
one-handed hoists, more basket tosses than you could shake a pom-pom
at and an ability to bend the body that would even make a contortionist
green with envy, Western’s cheerleading team captured their
19th national title on Saturday.
The Hershey Centre saw more cheerleaders than any mortal man could
have dreamed to see in a lifetime and the tournament was so competitive
that a few laws of gravity were broken.
Among the 17 university cheerleading teams competing for the coveted
title was Université Laval, whose squad competed in the
two rounds of the tournament only to jump into a bus bound for
the Vanier Cup final at the SkyDome against St. Mary’s University.
“It’s a big day and it was our first competition,” exclaimed
Laval cheerleader Cynthia Brière, adding Laval was sure
to win the Vanier (they did).
The competition was so stiff that Western almost lost their national
title to the squad from the University of Waterloo, whose experience
and somersaulting flair for wooing the good hearts of the audience
almost proved too much for Western to handle.
However, the Mustang cheerleader did come through for the people
of Western — they have, after all, graced the pages of Maxim
UK. Their routine saw basket tosses that put the lovely ladies
of the squad farther into the air than anyone else. Somersaults,
flips and lay ups rounded out the gymnastic spectacle until it
ended with every female cheerleader being hoisted by their chiseled
male cohorts to form a cheerleading pretzel above their heads.
It did not end there: the real final move involved five girls
forming a cross and being thrown into the air while completing
a quarter turn, a Cirque du Soleil-esque sight which certainly
edged Western above the other competitors and clinched them the
“They didn’t have cheerleaders like that when I was there,” said
an unidentified Western alumnus.
“As an incoming freshmen class, this was thick in talent.
These girls are killer. Sometimes the old teams have the experience
but they aren’t as experienced, so it wasn’t really
as hard as I think it may be on paper,” asserted Western’s
cheerleading guru and head coach David-Lee Tracey.
“We ran well enough. Our routine was difficult enough and
we have enough talent that we came out on top; we’re the
best in the nation for the 19th time in a row,” said Western
cheerleader Mike Smith.
“The hard part about this is that it sounds like 19 in a
row, but conceptually for three quarters of my team it’s
their first one. We’ve got a tonne of freshmen,” Tracey
“The trophy is actually as old as I am,” said Kadi Gore,
one of Western’s fine cheerleading ladies.
“It’s my first cheerleading in a competition. It’s
an awesome feeling to be a winner and national champion,” stated
cheerleader Christine Dorrepaal.
What’s next for the cheerleading kings and queens of Canada?
“We get a little bit of a break — but we have to go
in the highest competitive category in the United States — I
think we are up to the challenge. It’s going to be back to
the weight room, back to the tumbling, it’s going to be about
fundamentals, fundamentals,” Tracey said.
Cheerleader Jim Sheehan has bigger plans in mind for the future. “Now
it’s time to party and that’s what we really excel
at, so let’s do it up.”