Cheerleaders Prepare for Nationals

1 decade 8 months 1 week ago Sunday, April 01 2007 Apr 1, 2007 Sunday, April 01, 2007 10:24:54 PM UTC April 01, 2007 in Tiger Talk

"Spring break '07. A lot of hard work, definitely hard work," said junior cheerleader Brittany Silverstein.

Trying to get a leg up on the competition at college nationals, Suzy Thompson is in her 15th season coaching the Mizzou cheerleaders. It was back breaking work, but these Tigers want to "bring it on."

"They work all year cheering everybody else on and this is there chance for somebody to cheer them on," said Missouri cheerleading coach Suzy Thompson.

Mizzou is going to compete in the small co-ed division with a team of 18 girls and 2 guys. This cheerleading isn't about rah-rah and pom-poms. They throw and catch people. The only thing separating them from a hard surface is a two inch mat.

It's definitely a contact sport. In football, people think they're hitting each other, but at least they have pads. It's hard," said Silverstein.

"Basically throw people around and catch them. I mean really," said Missouri senior cheerleader Bryan Allen.

And it's got a language of its own. Missouri finished in the top 10 each of the past three years, but the team is hoping to break the barrier and win it all in 2007.

"The worst part about it is you only get two and a half minutes. You can't sub in. You can't redo it. There's not a timeout if something doesn't go," said coach Thompson.

"It is pretty stressful. We work all year and we only have two and a half minutes to show people how good we are. If something falls, you really can't take it back. That's all you have," said senior cheerleader Amanda Goreck.

What's a competition without Truman. John Lyman is in his third season as the favorite Tiger. He beat out about 40 other mascots to get one of five bids to the national competition. And goes in ranked first in the nation.

"You just have to be excited all the time. It's easy to do it when you're Truman the Tiger," said John Lyman.

Enthusiasm is easy. It's the willingness to get thrown in the air that keeps the cheer squad on the lookout.

Sometimes I'll see these girls and think. They'll make a really good flyer. They'd be fun to stunt with," said Allen.

Now that sounds like some spring break fun. The Golden Girls are also going to compete at the nationals which are in Daytona Beach. The Tigers are going to show off their routine Monday night at six at Hearnes.

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