Toros Cheer Squad: Strength in Numbers
The mighty Toros started the 2005-2006 school year without the inspiration of a cheer squad. Ambitious former members were motivated to reactivate the squad, so they stepped up and took the challenge of reconstituting the team that no longer existed. Due to their hard work and new beginnings, Varsity.com named Cal State Dominguez Hill’s cheer team Squad of the Month in February.
CSUDH now has an 18-member team that is still growing. The challenge began when two former cheer members decided to rebuild the squad from the bottom. Senior Xica Brewer (Dance), captain, and co-captain freshman
Marshanna Brown (Dance) worked together to advertise the new squad by making posters, recruiting girls and by word-of-mouth.
“I had the passion to find anyone who was willing to help, and the Lord truly blessed me,” said Brown. Along with a new co-captain, sophomore
Nonye Ogbodo (Psychology), the girls held the school year’s first tryouts two weeks after they took on their challenge, where 13 girls showed up to potentially make the squad.
As the team continues to grow, the original members remember where they once were and where they are going. Before the rebuilding process, tryouts had not been held since March 2005. After their coach left, the squad went from 12 girls to three girls. Without a coach and without a full team, the original members were given an ultimatum. “We were told if the squad couldn’t find another coach, then there would be no more squad,” Ogbodo said.
There have been two coaches since the original coach left, but the team is determined to not let any obstacles deter them from their goals. Next year’s goals are a regular coach, recognition by the Athletic Department and funding by the University, as squad members pay for their own uniforms and provide their own transportation. The team is also looking for more dedicated students to be a part of the squad.
Squad members keep prayer involved in their growing process. They also make an effort to show the students and administration that they are back and highly active on campus. Currently, the squad has no consistent uniform, due to a small budget. They have held fundraisers for uniforms, fees and transportation.
The squad is sure of its future and knows that each new member, in addition to the former active members, will contribute to the success they deserve. “We all had this wonderful vision and knew that anything was possible. Each girl on the team is special and helps the squad in a different way. We are literally starting from the bottom, but we’re all here for the same reason. And that’s all that matters,” said Brown.
Tryouts for the cheer squad will be held May 22-26. All students registered for the 2006-2007 year with at least a 2.0 GPA and basic cheer, dance and gymnastics skills are eligible. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Briahna Baker
Photo above: On top: Sheena McDade, sophomore, (Psychology); left to right: Brandi Johnson, freshman, (Biology); Jessica Silas, freshman (Undeclared); and Nonye Ogbodo, sophomore (Psychology).
Photo by Joanie Harmon