Pumped for Vaq Victory: Pep Rally Inspires

Derek Stowe

The cheerleading squad performed crowd-pumping stunts as students gathered in the Plaza Vaquero last Thursday for a pep rally designed to encourage school spirit and to show support of the GCC athletic teams for the fall season.

There was loud music and the excitement was at a high level, especially when the cheerleaders, women’s volleyball, football and cross country athletes showed off their dancing skills and then began a series of tug-of-war matches. All in attendance began to cheer with excitement for the squads and waved their banners that said, “GO TEAM!”

“Wahoo! This is our chance to show a few routines and to get the people aware that we have some awesome sports teams and a great cheerleading program,” said cheerleading Coach Jessie Moorehead, who conducts cheerleading practices Mondays and Wednesdays in the Verdugo gym.

During the rally, coaches and players introduced their teams and gave inspiring words to boost optimism for both the teams and their fans. “Every game and every practice is an improvement,” said head football coach John Rome. “We will be better.”

Despite GCC football’s record of 0-4 after Saturday’s 44-28 loss to Allan Hancock College, part of the slow start can be attributed to the fact that the team started with 10 freshmen on offense this year. Every game will be a challenge for this young team. “We plan to win, but we have to see how we respond. I hope it is good enough to win,” said Rome.

“It’s really nice of the student government to support all the teams today,” said cross country coach Eddie Lopez, in his 24th season coaching for GCC.

“For the women, we may not have the Nina Moore and Rosa Del Toro front runners we had last year but we have a deeper team this year, where anyone could be number one. For the men we have Ricky Avila in the front and then Rico Gutierrez, ‘our one-two punch’ we just need our third, fourth and fifth guys to move up.” said Lopez.

To the amazement of the crowd, the cheerleaders balanced their fellow team members way up in the air and then tossed them up even higher as they performed a series of flips.

Cheerleader Cassie Wright, 19, a marine biology major, said, “Our team this year is really, really good and we’re doing really well so far. The [football] coach and players tell us how much they like us at their games, and how excited they are. We really pump them up. It’s a lot of hard work; we practice really hard; it’s really dangerous; but we have a lot of safety precautions, and it’s really fun.”

Her teammate, Britany Dacoff, 21, a graphic design major said, “I love the cheerleading team. They’re so positive. This is the only team I’ve ever been on where all the girls really want to be there. We always have people spotting, ready to catch somebody who might fall. Our coach is all about safety, especially when it’s a huge stunt.”

When asked if she thought cheerleaders really make a difference, Dacoff said, “Yes, the football team always asks if the cheerleaders are coming to our away games because they so look forward to having us at every game, home or away.”

GCC sports fans can see the cheerleaders and student athletes in action at home and away football games, basketball games beginning Nov. 11, and other GCC team events. The next home football game is Saturday at 6 p.m. against Los Angeles Valley College at Sartoris Field.

Thursday’s pep rally will not likely be soon forgotten. Fans can visit the athletics department online at www.glendale.edu for their favorite teams’ upcoming games.