100,000 Strong

By: Kayla Kimrey

IMG_0297Growing up and going to the Texas State football games in San Marcos, I always watched the cheerleaders on the sidelines doing flips in the air. It was like they were superheroes that could fly in the air. I knew I wanted to be a college cheerleader from that point on and I started competition cheerleading at eleven years old.

After setting this ambitious goal for myself, I fell in love with cheerleading as a sport. It became my passion that I strived to be better at everyday. When I was a senior in high school, I decided I wanted to attend the University of Texas at Austin and my cheerleading coach was a Texas cheer alum so he trained me for the squad. I visited a cheer practice by contacting the coach at UT, I went to football games to meet the cheerleaders, and I started doing Co-Ed stunting to learn to be a flyer.

I tried out for the Co-Ed cheer squad but didn’t make the team. It was a very important lesson for me because cheerleading has been my dream for so long and this was the time for me to show that all my hard work for the past seven years had paid off. I decided to try out for the All-Girls squad at UT and made the squad! This just shows when you get knocked down you have to be able to pick yourself back up.DSCN1065

When I was a cheerleader for UT, it was like I was living in a fantasy. Every time I got to put on that uniform it was like I transformed into a superhero. I would go to class and no one would really bother to pay any extra attention to me, I was a freshman just like over 10,000 other students; but when I put on my cheerleading uniform everyone would ask if they could take pictures with me and say they would see me on the field at the next game. I got to cheer at volleyball, women’s soccer, home football, and women’s basketball games. My favorite was of course the football games. Nothing beats being in front of over 100,000 fans and leading the Texas Fight chant.

IMG_1136I loved cheering for UT, everyone has so much school spirit and love for Texas; it’s infectious. I did pep rallies before football games and loved hearing everyone yell along with the team because they shared the passion we had for the cheering on the Longhorns. Appearances were really fun because we got to go to Texas sponsored events in uniform and be the face of the University. I got to meet very important people within the University community and promote school spirit to fans one-on-one instead of just in the crowd. My favorite was when little girls would want to take pictures with you because it was their dream to become a Texas cheerleader. It reminded me of myself when I decided to pursue cheer.

During my freshman year, I was very stressed doing both cheer and school. We had cheer practice for nine hours a week and then had games and appearances almost every week. I had to learn time management in college very quickly and find a balance between school and cheer. I decided not to continue cheering after my first year because of the stress and time commitment. I wanted to focus on school and be able to join more organizations, like Chi Beta Delta, to make more friends in college. I will always cherish the time I had on the field and the feeling of accomplishing my goal after seven years. Now, it’s time for me to set a new goal.

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