BYU cheer and stunt is a major face of BYU. They are there cheering on the Cougars for football, women’s volleyball, men’s basketball and women’s basketball, not to mention the countless appearances they make throughout the year on the university’s errand. This week the Universe looked into what the BYU cheer and stunt team does to prepare for game day.
The team starts practice at 7 a.m four days a week and spends hours perfecting its routines and stunts before performing them in front of fans. In addition, team members condition and lift weights to stay in shape.
Every game is a scripted performance. Cheer and stunt plan performances and stunts for the home football games. All of the routines the fans see have been practiced hundreds of times before they make it out on gameday.
“Everything that we do is scripted. We don’t do any timeouts that aren’t planned for in the script. It all needs to be done exactly on time. We run out, begin, perform and finish all at exact times that we plan out beforehand. It all comes back to just a lot of preparation and is scripted down to a T,” head coach Jocelyn Allan said.
Home games result in a very long day for the BYU cheerleaders. They begin performing two and a half hours before kickoff as they contribute to the college football atmosphere by interacting with fans.
In addition to being cheerleaders, two team members are also equipment managers. Austin Maser and Austin Harmon spend extra time preparing by arriving earlier than the team to set up signs, banner and pyrotechnics placed in the flags. Here is a look at where everything is placed during the stadium set up.
BYU cheer and stunt is the only part of the BYU Spirit Squad that travels to away games. In addition to all the work that goes into home games throughout the football season, 12 cheerleaders are selected to travel to each away game.
“We make a lot of memories when we travel,” Harmon said. “We have a lot of time to go explore and experience the new places too.”
The traveling cheerleaders often do activities that are unique to the region, like zip-lining through the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee or even taste-testing cheese in Wisconsin.
Nearing the end of football season, members of BYU cheer and stunt often find themselves incredibly busy as they attend sporting events for football, volleyball, men’s basketball and women’s basketball simultaneously. Nevertheless, this is when cheer and stunt begins prepping for its own competition.
Cheer and stunt competes separately at sporting events. This year, the team will compete in cheerleading competitions as well as STUNT.
STUNT is a new way for cheer and stunt to compete. BYU finished last year’s STUNT season ranked No. 6 despite only competing once during the season. This year, they have high goals for themselves and have already begun work for the competition by using current performances as preparation.