Cheerleaders defend world championship title

By Nina Nocciolino

Though most people’s attention turns to the football team in the fall, one team that goes relatively unnoticed and is once again making a name for NU is The Northeastern Cheerleaders.

Last year the team went to the National Cheerleading Competition, in Daytona Beach, FL, sponsored by the National Cheerleaders Association (NCA), and made history. The coed squad took home the Division 1 title, and won the overall competition, beating six divisions and 183 teams as the Grand National Champions, something no other team in the Northeast has ever done. To recognize their accomplishments, the team received a banner which Coach Lorrie Wright had to fight to get. Under the direction of Northeastern’s new athletic Director David O’ Brien, things might be different.

“I think it’s extremely important that cheerleading and dance teams be viewed as part of the competitive teams, and we should therefore support them in every way we can,” O Brien said.

The new athletic director comes to Northeastern from Temple University, where he served as the director of athletics. Prior to that he was at Long Beach State University, a school with strong cheer and dance programs, and understands the importance to the school.

“They are critically important to student morale and we need to do anything and everything we can to support them,” O’Brien said.

Northeastern in the past has lagged behind other universities in school spirit, and the cheerleaders here do their best to bring the crowds to their feet.

“We try to get people into it and if we don’t get a response then we work with what we have,” said O’Neil. Wright believes that with the response to President Freeland’s convocation ceremony, this year’s incoming freshman class is very receptive.

“It’s all a matter of your attitude,” Wright said. “You have to get right in the crowd’s face and make them think that this is how it’s supposed to be-enthusiastic.”

“We would obviously love for the crowd to be involved but we do it to support the team,” said Bent.

The cheerleading teams, which include three squads for football, basketball and hockey, fall in an uncertain gray area between athletic teams and student activities, and therefore go overlooked in many instances.

They are a university funded team, but that budget doesn’t include an expensive competition

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