Loud and proud

Ferris cheer team heading in new direction

The Ferris cheer team pumps up the crowd. The club is undergoing a transition with a new head coach. Photo by: Sam Cavotta | Torch Photographer

Ferris athletes have given fans plenty to cheer for over the past year, but the Bulldogs’ main source of cheering is currently finding their way through a tough transition.

The Ferris cheer team has been a familiar presence at Bulldog football and basketball games for several years, but the club was left in shambles after their coach departed following the 2017-18 season.

With Ferris experiencing so much success, the team needed to nd new leadership in order to continue making appearances at games. Ferris nursing senior Bailey Reiter, a veteran on the team, knew someone had to lead the squad, so she grabbed the reins.

“I was frustrated and decided the only way that I’m going to be able to change this is if I apply for this position,” Reiter said. “Some of the returning girls and men I have definitely seen step up and take on and help with the leadership roles, even if it’s just encouragement or being friendly.”

Reiter is set to graduate with her undergrad in December 2018, so she won’t be able to compete with the Bulldogs for the entirety of the year. Coaching allows Reiter to be part of the team without fully competing.

Along with sideline cheer, Reiter will head the stunt team, which was started just a year ago and is on the more competitive side of cheer. Stunt involves performing often complex routines against other universities and differs from the sideline aspect of cheer immensely.

Reiter and the cheer team have also begun recruiting new members, even if they have little to no history in cheerleading. Ferris digital animation and game design junior Cory Tyrell came to the squad a year and a half ago with no prior experience in the realm of cheer.

“I decided to do cheerleading because of the idea that I’d be able to get myself back in shape and tumble like I use to do when I was younger,” Tyrrell said. “I love tumbling and there were never any opportunities to practice when I got older.”

Not many men decided to join the cheer team, a big factor Tyrell noted for not joining his high school’s team. But once he arrived at Ferris, he was persuaded to try out by a close friend on the team and he hasn’t regretted it since.

“I never did cheerleading before,” Tyrrell said. “After being on the team though, I can say that everyone is inviting, and more guys are a welcoming sight.”

With football season nearing a finale, the cheer team will gear up to take the sidelines for the Ferris men’s and women’s basketball games.