By Steven Eggert
The Rider cheerleading team proved itself to be more than just fan entertainment. They showed a competitive side last weekend winning the American Cheer and Dance, Reach the Beach All Star and College National Championship in Ocean City, Md.
The team competed against eight other colleges in a two-day competition. Rider performed routines such as stunts, tumbling, jumping and dancing each day. Teams were judged on how well they executed their stunts and performed routines.
Rider Coach Cherie Voorhees was proud of her team members after dealing with challenges leading up to the tournament.
“We dealt with having to practice at an off-campus facility because of renovations in Alumni Gym and losing one of our members to injury the day before we left,” Voorhees said. “Through it all, they kept focused on what had to be done. It says a lot that they could end with such success.”
The competition allowed Rider to show young all-star and high school teams the cheerleading program Rider has to offer.
“It is also a great way to give exposure to our school by performing in front of hundreds of other all-star and school cheer programs who see us and ask about Rider,” Voorhees said. “We even had all-star programs chanting ‘Rider’ the second day of competition.”
Junior Kristen Terpstra was overjoyed that the team won the event after not winning it as a freshman.
“All the girls gave it their all and had as much fun with it as possible,” Terpstra said. “My freshman year we didn’t win first place but the experience was just as extraordinary. However, this time coming off the mat I was in instant tears. We improved so much in one night just by coming together as a team and putting the stress behind us.”
Freshman Allison Pron looks forward to what lies ahead for the Rider cheerleaders in years to come.
“You can’t really say what will come next year, but we do hope to continue to compete and look into more competitions,” Pron said. “We will try new and harder skills and perfect the ones we already possess.”
Ultimately, Voorhees was ecstatic that her squad ended its season well.
“I am extremely proud of our team this year for working hard all season,” Voorhees said. “All of the members were a part of making it happen. Not only by being on the floor last weekend, but by working hard, fundraising, attending practices and charity events and just by persevering to create that team dynamic that is needed to succeed. This is a memorable season that the 2011-12 Rider cheerleading team won’t soon forget.”