Hilbert College’s cheerleading team has been working hard throughout the last few months to support the football and basketball teams at their games.
Julia Dombrowski a cheer team member, said she enjoys the camaraderie the team has built throughout the semester.
“A favorite part for me is having everyone come together and getting closer as friends which help our stunts improve too from everyone working together as a team,” she said.
Since Hilbert Athletics fall under division III, the cheer team is equally present for both, men and women’s games.
The girls have been practicing four times per week as of now where they work on cheers, stunts, creative time-outs, and a halftime dance.
“It takes a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to get where we want to be,” said Krista Stephany, another team member. “It doesn’t just happen over night.”
The team holds try-outs for anyone who is interested and being a part of the semester. The team does not require past experience. The team, as of now, has a cap of 15 people, as there are only 15 uniforms available.
The three team captains, Dombrowski, Stephany and Kat Pappas explain how they help the team lead practice and focus on getting everyone on the same rhythm.
Pappas says she’s enjoyed seeing the team strengthen their bonds with one another.
“Watching the team change from freshman year until senior year and seeing how much everyone has connected is my favorite part about this team,” Pappas said.
Due to funding shortages, the cheerleading team does not currently fall under Hilbert Athletics. They are student government funded which means they also are expected to follow student government regulations. However, they are really trying to be under athletics in the near future.
The team hopes to hold their first cheer clinic this upcoming February for anyone interested. This clinic is a great fundraising opportunity for the team.
Head coach Colleen Kumiega says she’s extremely proud of the girls and wishes people would take it more seriously and give them the credit they deserve.
“These girls are my spirit. They give me the energy and enthusiasm to live the cheerleading life that I missed myself. I am literally so proud of them,” Kumiega said. “They work so hard day in and day out and people don’t take it as seriously as an athletic sport as it really should be.”