At 6:45 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2, the Red Raider cheer team stumbled across campus in the dark to load the vans. They hit the road for Concordia University in Seward, Neb. for their first major competition of the year. At the competition, Northwestern finished fifth out of six teams with a score of 61.2.
Each team performs only once for fewer than two and a half minutes; any longer and they will receive significant deductions on their score. In cheer competitions, all teams must submit a score sheet to judges prior to competing with an extensive list of every stunt, jump, flip or trick they will perform. If everything is executed perfectly, a zero deduction performance is the result. However, this is rare, and there is nearly always room for improvement. Teams receive deductions for dropped stunts, sloppy or poorly-timed jumps or falls on flips. The Raider’s cheer team scored highest in bucket tosses with seven points and choreography and showmanship with six points each.
“Even if we don’t perform well, we know that our love for God doesn’t change, and neither does His love for us,” senior captain Teagan Hill-Norby said.
The cheer team uses these competitions as a platform to show the joy Jesus can give in the midst of success or failure. Many of the NW cheerleaders love spending time with other teams, encouraging them and rooting for them to perform their best.
The cheer team has set loftier goals of shining a light for Christ through their positive attitudes and support of other athletes. The NW cheer team will compete at the GPAC championships Feb. 9 at Hastings College at 7 p.m. On Thursday, Feb. 28, the cheer and dance team will be holding a showcase event in the Bultman Center.