|Posted by Alonda Nicole on March 8, 2011 at 3:24 PM|
The Florida A&M Cheerleaders placed first in the co-ed division of the MEAC Cheerleading Competition at the Joel Coliseum. Head coach Brandi Tatum's squad overcame dominance in the division by North Carolina A&T, to take first place. Last season, the Rattlers finished in third place, behind the Morgan State Bears.
The MEAC cheerleading competition is one of the most highly competitive cheerleading events in the country. There are two divisions, the general division and the co-ed division, which FAMU has been in for the past four years.
"I think this year's improvement definitely came from having the tumbling mats at Gaither Gym, which allowed us to practice on the surface we were going to perform on," said Tatum. Last season, the mats weren't available and the team just practiced on the gym floor. That led to the team having to make adjustments at the actual competition.
The cheerleading squad didn't want to feel cheated. They set a goal to win it all and not suffer the disappointment they endured last season. "Our mindset was not to leave feeling cheated, we wanted to push to win first place. We were able to maximize our co-ed stunts. We wanted to show our collegiate skills, and we were successful in doing that," Tatum added.
The trip was not without its share of drama though. Co-captain Blayre Barlow, a huge part of the team, tore her ACL and was ruled out of competition by doctors on Tuesday. That didn't stop the focus of the FAMU Cheerleaders. Tatum said it was unnerving, but the team knew it had to step up. "We had to tweak things to work around not having our co-captain in just a few days before the competition, because she was a big part of the routine, and our personality," Tatum said.
The FAMU Cheerleaders will remain in Winston-Salem to cheer on the men's and women's basketball teams as they try to capture the MEAC basketball crowns.
Categories: From the Hill