SSU cheerleading ‘brings it on’

The question involving school spirit is frequently asked at Sonoma State. Though there is room for improvement in that category for the school as a whole, it is a mainstay in the attitudes of at least one club here on campus: the cheerleaders. It’s simply what they do. They like to make sure there is never a dull moment at the sporting events they attend. Take, for example, the basketball games. 

“[One of our goals is to] have halftime routines ready, and also have routines for the media timeouts and have our cheers prepared,” said Senior Captain Dana Hachigian.  “Just learning new cheers throughout the season so things don’t get boring.”

Performing at basketball games was put off this year until this semester. It had nothing to do with their desire to be there to energize the crowd and support the teams; their problem was not having a coach. Without a coach they were not allowed to perform during sporting events. To their delight they got two coaches the first week of January. Jennifer Porter is one of those coaches and is ecstatic about the opportunity. 

“I love coaching this team. It’s a great group of girls. I’m super excited and I can’t wait to continue on this journey and rebuild this program,” said Porter.

Having coaches that want to be around to get the best out of their athletes while making them better is a key component to any teams success. But, having a coach with outside accessibility can be even more important. Porter is also an employee at Fierce Cheer Elite in Santa Rosa, a cheer gym that she uses to her team’s advantage. Fierce is another place to practice and has the same mats that are used at competitions, unlike the Fieldhouse at SSU, their normal practice place, which has a hardwood gym floor. 

The competition they will be competing at this year is the United Spirit Association Collegiate Cheerleading and Dance Championships on March 23-24 in Anaheim. Although our cheerleaders love performing at homecoming, basketball games, and other events they are asked to attend, their excitement for this tournament exceeds all else. 

“I’m super excited to be able to compete with some of my best friends on my team and I know we’ll do really great,” said freshman Savannah Hanoum. 

For many, joining the cheerleading team was a great way to get involved and feel comfortable in college. Hanoum was a competitive cheerleader for six years prior to college and also cheered in high school. 

“I’ve met a lot of great girls and I bond with them all the time,” said Hanoum. “I’m lucky to spend all the time I do with them in practice and outside of practice.”

Season is in session for these girls so tryouts won’t be held until later in the semester. The date is not yet set, but tryouts are usually held in late April every year. Depending on the size of the team after April’s tryouts they hold a final tryout at the end of August, right after school starts each fall. 

Find one of the girls on Facebook or go to a practice before they leave for nationals in March to find out more exact details if you are interested in joining the team. 

Practices are held weekly on Sunday from 4 - 7 p.m., and Monday and Wednesday 7:30 - 10 the Fieldhouse by the main gym.