A couple weeks ago, sports editor Galo Pesantes wrote a column about the lack of school spirit at the University of La Verne when it comes to athletic events, and I agree.
However, I can say that I have contributed to the effort of uplifting school spirit for most of the athletic teams on campus.
Many of you don’t know this, but ULV actually did have a cheer squad, a great team of close to 30 girls who came together to support the school in various ways and to also compete and represent the University in a positive, athletic way.
When I received my acceptance letter, the first thing I thought about was how I could get involved. I transferred to my high school a year late, so I felt like I didn’t really get to do many activities for those four years.
Having a fresh start at La Verne inspired me to jump right in and find something to do. After meeting the captain of the squad, I was hooked.
All I could think about was trying out and being a part of the team.
Now many may think, “Oh this is dumb and who cares,” but you should.
Everyone looks to find their niche when starting at a new school or job.
For me, it was the cheer squad. And most don’t think that something that you love and have worked so hard to build would be taken away, but that is exactly what the fate of our squad was.
Last fall we were given word that our program was going to be cut.
All of the training, the practices, the games; it was all going down the drain. We got together and tried to rally in hopes of a change. Even with the support of family, faculty, students and even other schools, we lost the battle.
Looking back the best part about the whole squad was being with a group of girls who were a family away from home.
All of these girls taught me important things and set me on the right track at school. Most importantly, I was doing something I had never done before, and I wasn’t the only one.
Together, we took a developing squad of around five girls who had already taken the steps and successfully competed and watched it grow to a full-blown competitive squad of more than double the original squad.
People ask why we ditched our teams and why don’t we just make up a pep squad. The answers are simple: We didn’t ditch the teams; we fought to support them.
And yes, we could start up a pep squad, but that’s not what we were all about. We were athletes who wanted to compete and play our game too.
Even though the squad was cut almost a year ago, I am still proud to say that I was a cheerleader.
I miss those long summer days we spent conditioning and practicing, the late night practices during the semester, all of the football games and basketball games we performed at and the games we went to support other athletic teams.
I miss the little things like decorating the field and locker rooms, making those silly goodie bags and posters and the infamous scavenger hunt at cheer camp.
But mostly, I miss my teammates, my friends, my family.
We could all get together anytime we wanted, but it would never quite be the same.
We shared so many memories together and I honestly can say that this team and this group of girls helped shape the person that I am today.
Marilee Lorusso, a junior journalism major, is LV Life editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.