Gearing Up for Game Day: ASU’s Cheerleaders Prepare to Take Over the Field

by Jessica Jones
Practice Makes Perfect
The Magic City Classic is rapidly approaching, and as one of Birmingham’s most highly anticipated games of the season, all participants, from football players to cheerleaders, have to be game day ready.
With the high expectations that come with being a viewer, that’s a pretty high demand, but the Alabama State University cheerleaders have it all under control.
According to Kendra Daniels, the cheerleading captain, the squad has been preparing for this moment since the end of July, learning chants, cheers and dance routines. But practice for the Classic isn’t limited to afterschool practices. They also have to be ready to perform in front of a crowd.
“We use our first few football games to get ready for the Magic City Classic,” Daniels, a third year cheerleading veteran said.

Prepping the Newcomers
Preparation also means getting first timers ready for the field as well.
“From day one we kind of coach them to be ready for this one game because it’s one of our biggest games of the season,” Daniels said. “We really try our hardest to practice everything we know and try to perfect things like stunting and tumbling and make sure that we are ready just for that crowd. I think it’s more [about] being ready for such a big crowd.”
As captain, Daniels describes her job as being the one who is “keeping the tradition of Alabama State alive…making sure [freshmen] represent the school accordingly, building them up to be the ambassadors of the school.”

If all else fails, Just have fun
Practice is important, but, for Daniels, enjoying the moment is even more important.
“For the most part I tell them not to over think the situation,” Daniels said. “Just have fun because at the end of the day, it is just a football game. It’s not really a cheer competition. Even though you have people constantly looking at you and maybe even judging you, just have fun, because if you think about it, you really don’t cherish the moment.”