Oregon Tech’s new cheer team prepares for the upcoming basketball season
By Mikaela Schuman, Staff Writer
If you walk into the mirror room at 6 p.m. every Monday and Wednesday, the sound of seventeen dedicated cheerleaders will greet you at the door. Oregon Tech has a new spirit squad on campus and they are ready to show the school what they are made of.
Since the club’s founding in the Spring of 2017 by Spirit Squad Captains Kirsten Kepler and Elizabeth Cox, the squad has been hard at work preparing to inspire school spirit for our Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams.
“I wanted to give people an opportunity to do something outside of their majors and to create a fun extracurricular to show well roundedness,” said Kirsten Kepler.
There have been many hoops for the squad to jump through, such as a lack of practice space and sponsorship conflicts. It has also been difficult for the founding students to be taken seriously when they were first starting when it came to receiving sponsorships from businesses.
Finding interested students, on the other hand, has not been an issue for the Spirit Squad. There are seventeen active cheerleaders on the squad, but they are still welcoming students who are full of motivation and school spirit, regardless of prior cheerleading experience.
They will have to be committed to the club, however.
"Cheerleading is work," reminds Kepler.
Freshman squad member Connie Duran agrees. "Just like homework or studying, you have to practice outside of practice time."
The Spirit Squad members only have two days a week to practice, memorize, and perfect not only a multitude of cheers, but also a full dance number to be performed in front of the Oregon Tech community.
The challenge does not come without rewards.
"It (teaches) time management and how to work with a team and how to have fun while working," says Kepler.
The squad consists of students from many degree paths and backgrounds who have joined together for the sake of school spirit. Duran said that team bonding is the best part of being on the squad.
The Spirit Squad hopes to become involved with Residence Hall sponsored events and Campus Life activities, but right now, the Spirit Squad can be seen at the men’s and women’s basketball games, cheering the Hustlin’ Owls to victory.