Cheer Squad Brings School Spirit to Pepp – Pepperdine Graphic

The 2021-2022 Pepperdine Cheer Squad gathers before cheering at their first game Nov. 5. Katie Garrison restarted the Cheer Squad as a junior with the intention of bringing more school spirit to campus. Photos by Brandon Rubsamen
Every home Men ’ south and Women ’ s Basketball game, there are two sports occurring — one on the court and the early on the sideline .
Pepperdine ’ s Cheer Squad restarted in 2018 ascribable to the efforts of alumnus and police squad bus Kaitlyn Garrison ( ’ 20 ). Garrison said the team of 12 feels like family and their finish is to carry enthusiasm of the Cheer Squad from the court to campus .
“ One of the big things this class that I in truth want to emphasize is being there for not just the students, but those that are passionate about Pepperdine and the residential district around us, ” Garrison said. “ So I ’ molarity hoping to expand that. ”

The Evolution of the Cheer Squad
Garrison began brainstorming the mind of starting a new cheer squad — after the previous one ended in 2012 after the University replaced it with a dance team — during her beginning class at Pepperdine, she said. Having been a cheerleader in high school, Garrison said she felt there was a lack of educate spirit on campus that a cheer team could bring .
The follow class, Garrison studied abroad in London, but said she used that time to prepare her plan. When she returned to the Malibu campus in fall 2018 as a junior, she landed a meet with the Athletics department .
“ I had pitched this concept — I don ’ metric ton know how this happened — they were like, ‘ OK. ’ I did come in with a full presentation and budget sheets, ” Garrison said. “ I came in with everything quick. ”
In October 2018, Garrison said the University gave her the enterprise to start tryouts, but the Woolsey Fire sent everyone base concisely after. still, Garrison said she was determined to get the police squad up and running, so she held virtual practices .
“ I did a full audition and put together a actually bang-up squad, and they actually had to exercise on Zoom and with videos over winter better, ” Garrison said. “ They practiced all through the winter and we showed up after winter separate and had the first base game. ”
After graduating, Garrison transitioned her character from police squad captain, scholar and bus to barely coaching. She said this transition was smooth, and now she enjoys mentoring and watching the team grow .
“ I ’ ve been blessed to be on the police squad that I am now coaching, and one of the things I very valued was that family aspect, ” Garrison said. “ This is who you spend all your clock with, so being able to get to meet everyone and put that community together was authoritative to me. ”
One of her favorite parts of coaching, Garrison said, is building relationships with her team .
“ We do monthly meetings, good so I can check in with them, because I want to have that time to actually be with them to set goals, ” Garrison said .
Being on the Squad
Junior Elizabeth McLaughlin said she met Garrison as a freshman scholar. McLaughlin had been cheering for 10 years before coming to Pepperdine, and once she got onto the Cheer Squad, she was grateful the community helped her passage to college life, she said .
“ We want to support this educate and are actually passionate about staying involved in the sport, ” McLaughlin said. “ This is our last opportunity to cheer forever — there ’ s no career that supports cheerleading or represents cheerleading in the direction that school and rival do. ”
aged Imani Barbary is the captain of the Cheer Squad and joined in 2018 — her first year — when Garrison was still in the build serve.

The team is even modern and each season has been interrupted therefore far, Barbary said. now that the Cheer Squad is able to be on campus, Barbary said she hopes it will gain attention from students .
“ I feel like if more people know about the team, more people would try out and be concern in going to basketball games, ” Barbary said .
The 12 squad members exercise tumbling and cheer routines for two hours twice a week at Firestone Fieldhouse and the on-campus seaworthiness studio. McLaughlin said she hopes, as the squad becomes a more acknowledge separate of Pepperdine ’ sulfur campus, they can expand to stunting — which is when cheerleaders lift or throw one another as a team .
right now, the team is lone certified to tumble — meaning they can do flips, cartwheels and handsprings, Barbary said. Barbary recognizes the risk of stunting and thinks they should establish their skills throughout the year, she said .
“ We ’ ra newer and they want to make sure that our tumbling solidified, ” Barbary said. “ Stunting is very dangerous because when you start you don ’ t have a mat, you don ’ t put on any extra pads or anything, it ’ mho merely your torso and the people that hold you on their body. ”
insurance is needed for cheerleaders to stunt because of the senior high school rates of unretentive and long-run injuries from stunting accidents, according to Geisinger. Studies on the Geiginger website show cheerlead is one of the most dangerous sports for women due to being thrown into the vent unprotected .
“ There are certain things that we can ’ t do so far because we don ’ metric ton have indemnity to stunt — but that ’ s something that I ’ megabyte very great at, ” McLaughlin said. “ I am one of those people who can toss people up and hold them all by myself, but I ’ m not allowed to do that because we don ’ t have the mats or insurance. ”
Garrison plans on getting approval for the Cheer Squad to stunt soon, she said, but the team must demonstrate their entire potential first .
During tryouts, Garrison said she looks for all-around individuals .
“ I want to make sure that we enable all different endowment, ” Garrison said. “ We can ’ metric ton barely have a whole team of tumblers tumbling at once ; we besides need people dancing, and I want to make sure that we have the best of the best. ”
As captain, Barbary said she appreciates the versatile skills each team penis brings to the table given their unique experiences. There are gymnasts, dancers, a color defend, trained cheerleaders and those with no history in any of these fields .
“ Yes, we cheer now, but that doesn ’ triiodothyronine bastardly we ’ ve always been cheerleaders, ” Barbary said. “ I think that it ’ south aplomb that we are different. ”
The Cheer Squad performs during media breaks and at halftime at every home Men ’ sulfur and Women ’ s Basketball bet on throughout the season. There are upcoming home games Monday, Nov. 15 and Wednesday, Nov. 17 at 7 post meridiem, at Firestone Fieldhouse.

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Follow the Graphic on Twitter : @ PeppGraphic
Contact Liza Esquibias by electronic mail : liza.esquibias @ pepperdine.edu

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