Cheerleaders Support Auburn On, Off the Field
When the smoke starts to rise, they begin to get ready. The fans start screaming as the video plays, and they know it's almost time. The band snaps to attention and starts blasting the fight song and there's no turning back. The football team charges out, led by the Auburn cheerleaders.
Whether on the sidelines or out serving the community, the cheerleaders work hard to live up to Auburn's traditions and reputation.
"It's not just about cheering, it's about being involved with the community too," said Laura Ferguson, junior in early childhood education. "It's a lot of fun because we get to support not just the specific sports, but the whole athletic program."
The cheerleaders not only perform at the football games, but almost all other sporting events, as well as making appearances at pre-schools, elementary schools, nursing homes and different community events.
Daniel Friday, junior in radio, television and film, said his favorite thing about cheering is giving back.
"I would definitely have to say that the best thing about Auburn Cheerleading is the opportunity for community service and being able to give back and serve the University," Friday said. "I do of course love the athletic part of it, I love gameday and I love all that stuff, but hands down my favorite part is all the appearances all over the place."
While community service is a big part of what Auburn Cheerleading is all about, they also have to get the entire stadium pumped and excited in order to support the team.
Friday, the mic-man, said he enjoys leading the cheers alongside the band.
"The first year I did it, I was extremely nervous, and I didn't really know what I had gotten myself into talking on a microphone in front of 87,000 people," Friday said. "But in the end, I really do enjoy it, and I am glad I have the mic in my hand because I have the opportunity to get the Auburn family on their feet, really cheering loud, and that's what I like most."
Will Bryan, junior in radio, television and film, said he just likes being in the middle of the action on gameday.
"It's really a lot of fun because you are between the game, which is action packed, and the student section, which is one of the better and more supportive student sections that I have seen," Bryan said.
Another favorite part of the game for both the cheerleaders and fans is getting to play with Aubie.
Kali Tucker, junior in human development and family studies, said Aubie is great to be around.
"Aubie is really fun and I feel like this year he has gotten so many new props and been able to do so much more with us," Tucker said.
In order to stay on top of their game, the cheerleaders usually practice three times a week.
"At an average practice, we stretch and get ready, we go over all the cheers in our football lineup, we work on pyramids and partner stunting and then we go over different appearances and community service opportunities," Ferguson said.
Between practice, cheering and community service, some might think it would be hard to balance cheerleading and school.
However, Ferguson said they love it so much that they all make it work.
"You have to make a lot of sacrifices, but when it comes down to it, you study as much as you can and do whatever you can," Ferguson said. " It is well worth all the sacrifices."
With the season almost over, many of the cheerleaders look back at the semester and think of the West Virginia game being the most fun.
"The West Virginia game was one of the most memorable moments this semester because it rained so hard and there was a delay on the game, but then we came back out after 45 minutes and all the fans were still there," Tucker said.
Bryan said "seeing the fans so dedicated was really cool."
Many of the cheerleaders also have a favorite cheer that they love to perform.
"My favorite cheer is 'Bodda Getta' just because it is so unique to Auburn and it's part of the Auburn tradition," Tucker said.
The spirit and excitement that the cheerleaders bring to the University, both on and off the field, embodies the traditions and live up to Auburn's name.