From leading the Blue the White and cheering on the football and basketball teams. To being sidelines themselves. This season for the Penn State cheerleading team has been like no other.
“As a whole it obviously delayed the start of our season. You know, we were just obviously trying to play it safe and just make sure the health of our student athletes was put first.”
Coaches quickly turned to plan b once they received the ok from the university to return to practice but not on Penn State grounds and with student athletes receiving COVID-19 tests weekly.
“We ended up decided to go to a colleagues gym and using it to practice.”
The team was supposed to travel to Orlando Florida for it’s annual UCA college nationals trip, but like many others, the pandemic put an end to that tradition.
“It’s not just Penn State, it’s a lot of different universities that can’t travel. A lot goes into it. It’s not regulated like Big10 is. When a big10 team travels to another big10 team you know the protocols are the same at each
school but for us to travel to another state let alone another competition that’s a third party competition, we don’t know the protocols.”
Instead, the team plans to compete virtually and record their gameday routine to then send in to be judged. Another event going virtual this year tryouts.
“In March it was our first time ever going all virtual. We thought that was going to be the last of it but unfortunately were going on round two. We’re keeping it pretty much the same format. Using the band group, it was just really easy to keep track of the tryout candidates. So they will join that and they will have the material and send in a tryout video and the deadline is going to be April 30th.”
But to try and compete with other teams getting a jump start on the next season, Penn State coaches just started to offer athletes early into their program.
“This is the first year we started an early offer part of our tryout process. I just offered a girl from Bishop Mccort to sign with us for the upcoming year. So, there’s only a few spots we are giving out early this year. And this is the first time we’ve ever done that.”
If you or someone you know is interested in trying out for the Penn State cheerleading team, or interested in showing your support, head to PSU’s website for more information.