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HPU S-P-I-R-I-T soars during team tryouts

by Shannon Stollenmaier, News editor


Energy and S-P-I-R-I-T filled Central YMCA’s facilities during the All-Girl and Co-Ed Cheerleading Teams and Dance Team live tryouts from Mar. 5 through Mar. 7.

All-Girl Cheerleading Team

About 40 girls jumped, tumbled, and smiled big hoping to land one of 26 open positions on the All-Girl Team, which is only in its second year. Approximately 110 video tryouts were submitted to the Student Life Office.

Coach Ashley Edwards said the talent level exhibited at the All-Girls tryout was amazing. “Each year it has gotten better and better,” said Edwards. “The talent level of those trying out this year really blew me away.”

The live tryouts lasted for three days and even the experienced team members, who also had to audition, were a little nervous.

“ You’re always nervous about a tryout, but there’s a lot of support here. Everyone cheers each other on,” said freshman Brittney Segars, who tried out while she was in high school and made the 2003-2004 team.

2003-2004 cheerleader, Lauren Muckleroy said the tryouts were intense, but not nerve wracking. “Tryouts were pretty laid back. You bring what you have to the table, and you either have it or you don’t.”

Both Segars and Muckleroy said that a lot of good talent showed up this year. These veteran observations were good news for Pearl City High School senior Sheena Mendoza, who had never tried out for a collegiate-level cheer team.

“ It was a little intimidating, but I knew a lot of people from the All-Star Squad and the Hawai‘i Cheer Company,” said Mendoza.

Tryouts are required annually for new and existing team members. This ensures that the necessary skill level is maintained, said Muckleroy.

“ This is only our second year with our All-Girl Team and already they are having a huge impact on college cheerleading,” said Edwards.

Co-Ed Cheerleading Team

Trying out for a national champion cheerleading team means meeting championship expectations. Trying to select the right members – the 33 members who will make up a national champion cheerleading team – in a group of 200 hopefuls is probably harder.

Approximately 30 male and female students participated in the live tryouts for the Co-Ed Cheerleading Team. The Student Life Office received an additional 170 video tryouts from students all over the United States.

“ The 2004-2005 team, quite honestly, will be one of the most talented cheer teams ever anyone...anywhere! We truly have the very best cheerleaders in the country on this team,” said Edwards.

Hard to imagine a more talented team than this year's team that just won first place at the 2004 Chik-fil-A National Championships or the 2002-2003 team that also took first place at nationals.
Edwards has a lot to be proud of and look forward to. “Back-to-back national champions in 2003 and 2004 ... 2005, I predict will be no different. This program has arrived and is recognized as a national powerhouse.”

The tryout results for the All-Girl and Co-Ed Cheer Teams will be announced on Apr. 16.

Dance Team

The Dance Team’s live tryouts showcased the talent of approximately 20 girls who could perform dance techniques from hip-hop to jazz. Approximately 20 video tryouts have been submitted with more anticipated.

The tryouts were a four-part process that included learning and performing jazz, hip-hop, and pom combos, and participating in a personal interview.

Head coach of the dance team, Adrienne Lampitelli said, “The level of talent we see gets better and more competitive every year. Word spreads that we have an incredible team and program, and dancers from around the country and world want to be a part of it.”

High school senior Cara Maldonado flew from Washington to participate in the tryouts. “Coming to the live tryouts and actually seeing the people and dancing technique is a good thing. They are good role models for me.”

While HPU junior Ashley Robinson said that the “new girls are pretty good and well-skilled,” Maryknoll High School senior, Jennifer Kotake, said “tryouts have been stressful.”

Members of last year’s team seemed relaxed and confident during the tryouts.

Junior Stephanie Guinan said that she’s trying not to stress out too much about the tryouts.
Freshman Kristen Jansen said, “Tryouts are going well. I’m trying to keep it smooth sailing.”
The members of the 2004-2005 will be announced on Apr.16.



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