The Glendale College Cheerleading team, currently the fifth best junior college team in the nation, will have tryouts today starting at 8 p.m. in the Verdugo gym, VG 101.
Those who join the team may even end up in a movie or on TV. Glendale Cheer has been featured in the films “Bring It On: Fight to the Finish,” and “Fired Up.”
“In ‘Fired Up’ it was great,” said team member Frank Molina, 21. “I loved being on the set and seeing all the stars. It was really amazing. I really liked it a lot.”
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Team member Kevin Manquero, 19, also spoke about his experience on the two movies. “It’s been interesting, it’s always fun to go support our school and let people know what we do and how good we are at it,” he said.
“It’s a good experience, it’s memories, it’s times that you are not going to have again and it’s time spent with the people that you may or may not be with in a while. It’s just exciting and fun.”
The team is also scheduled to appear in an upcoming episode of the hit TV show Glee. They are also in talks to be part of another “Bring It On” movie.
The first year for the team was 2005-2006. The success for the squad came faster than anyone would have imagined. In just their second year as a team, they placed second in United Spirit Association (USA) College Nationals.
In 2007-08 they also competed in tournaments, placing third in USA and they placed ninth in Universal Cheerleaders Association, their lowest finish ever. They also got a bid to UCA and a partial paid bid to NCA. The team placed third at USA in the partner stunt competition.
This past year the success continued for the team. They got a bid to UCA and placed fifth, and placed second in USA.
The squad has also had many people go on to receive scholarships from major universities in these past five years.
The team has had a lot of success and in a short period of time. But the success isn’t by just luck, but rather the way Moorehead has developed the program from the start.
“I’ve been in the industry for a very long time, worked with a lot of high school teams, judging and doing choreography,” said Moorehead. “So when it came time to start coaching college I made sure to be very picky [about who I picked for my team].”
For Moorehead it wasn’t only about being picky about the players she recruited, but also about which school she went to. Back in 2005, Moorehead was interviewing with different colleges looking for a job. As soon as she sat down for her interview with Glendale she fell in love.
“The moment I sat down and had my interview I fell in love immediately, I knew this was the place to be,” said Moorehead. “The staff at Glendale is amazing; everybody I met with at Glendale was ready to have a cheer program.”
For Moorehead it’s not only about cheer. She wants to develop the young men and women into good students and people. “What the most important thing for me is watching that kid succeed and go to that university,” said Moorehead.
“[My goal is] Watching them get the skills to be able to go to a university and get their schooling paid for and be able to do the sport that they love.”
That is the whole philosophy behind her program. She enjoys being that stepping-stone to the university level.
But what this team has that is more important than the winning, or the publicity, or making appearances in movies is their team is that family structure.
Manquero talked about the relationship with the members on the team. He talked about how they go through all the normal family action with the fighting, the laughing and the love that they all show for each other.
“We fight, we get under each other’s skins but when it comes down to it at the end of the day we all love each other,” he said. “We go by ‘ohana’ [which is Hawaiian for family] because we have a very Hawaiian influence on our team. So we just like to say that were an ohana.”
Just like the team is a family, “Coach is basically like our mother,” said Zelaya.
Molina also described the relationship with his coach that he likes a lot. “We’re really close,” he said. “She’s a really good teacher as well as a coach. She doesn’t only want me to progress in cheer but in life. She really pushes me to go to school, and to go to that next level in college. It’s really nice.”
Team member Samantha Walbert, 19, talked about the way her coach pushes everyone. “She is very friendly, very motivating, she keeps pushing us to keep going even though we don’t feel like it anymore,” she said.
The team is now looking for new blood for next year’s cheer team. The first day of tryouts were held on Monday in the Dance room, SN 102. Students interested can still attend the second day of tryouts.
The requirements to be on the cheer team are listed on its Web site. Also what will go on during today’s tryouts are also posted on the site.
Anyone interested in joining the cheer team and who wasn’t able to attend the second day of tryouts can still participate by emailing coach Moorehead at [email protected] and stating an interest in trying out for the team.
She will setup another tryout in the near future. For more information on the cheer team visit www.glendalecollegespirit.com.