By Zoe Bole
Western’s Cheer Team competed in the United Spirit Association Collegiate Championship in Anaheim, California on Feb. 26 and 27, finishing third in the small coed four-year college division, alongside other teams with four or less men on the mat in. The appearance was their first at the national competition in program history.
Brayden Kammers, in his ninth year of cheering, has been on Western’s cheer team for two years under the coaching of Stacy Fuller. Kammers explains that “being on the cheer team is like being part of a family away from home.”
The team spends hours per day together practicing their routines and cheers, developing the intimate trust in their abilities, and in each other, that make their high-flying stunts and routines possible.
Kammers, a 2020 high school graduate, has been unable to compete for the past two years due to the pandemic. Many of the other team members have only ever competed at the state level with their high schools, and never on the national level.
Kammers explained that it was an amazing experience being able to compete against teams from all over the nation. Western’s squad competed with three boys and ten girls on the mat against fellow Colorado schools like Colorado Mesa and CSU Pueblo, along with faraway schools like San Jose State.
The team received first place among Division-II schools, despite being the smallest school in the competition by enrollment, and fielding just 13 athletes, as opposed to other schools who brought 16 or more to the mat.
“It was pretty awesome being a tiny team and a tiny school beating all the other Division-II teams,” said Kammers, who had competed in Anaheim when he was a freshman in high school. Kammers was excited to return to Anaheim and compete at the college level after a long competition hiatus, a sentiment shared the entire Mountaineers team.
Western’s Cheer team fully intends to compete again at Nationals next year, and is hoping to grow next year, recruiting high school cheer athletes following their stellar performance.
To that end, the Cheer team will be holding tryouts on April 30 aimed at both high schoolers and current Western students.
You will be able to see Western’s Cheerleading team back in action in the fall semester at home football games, amping up the crowd. Come out and support them in conjunction with the Mountaineer Football team.