The award winning Eagle Cheerleading squad will hold tryouts this Friday and Saturday, in the second floor dance studio at the Phase. Eastern took first in several categories at a competition in Utah over the summer and is looking to add to its team.
Those selected through tryouts will be added to the existing squads. Between one and three positions are available on the all-girls squad, depending on the ability of those who try out. There are five positions for women on the co-ed squad and seven for men.
EWU has a relatively young group this year, according to Coach Michelle Wilson, with only one person returning from last year.
“This is going to be a rebuilding year. There’s a lot of young talent,” said Wilson. Wilson said one of the main team goals this year would be to work together with the pep band to get more participation from the crowds at games.
EWU also hopes to host a Universal Cheer Association competition in December. The competition would include squads from local high schools as well as area colleges. The winners in each division would then go on to the UCA championships in Florida.
Cheerleading is considered a club at Eastern, so there are no athletic scholarships for those who participate. As such, cheerleaders will be concentrating heavily on fundraising this year. Cheerleading depends on money from fundraisers to pay the cost of traveling expenses and uniforms. Wilson said the average a cheerleading skirt and top cost $150, and in the past, members have paid this out of their own pockets.
This is Wilson’s first year as the cheerleading coach at EWU. An Eastern alumna and former Eagle cheerleader, Wilson has also coached cheerleading at North Central High School in Spokane. Wilson is a second grade teacher and the mother of two small children.