By: Julie Laugel/GCU Staff
The GCU Club Spirit program took many positive strides in the 2019-20 season.
In her first season with the program, GCU Club Spirit Head Coach Alex Messana was eager to create a routine and get the Lopes on the competition floor.
“I had three goals for my first season,” said Messana. “The first was to take the team to compete at cheerleading competitions as they had not done so as a team for over a year.”
After attending no competitions in the 2018-19 season, the Club Spirit team competed in three different events this past year, including the Arizona Public Service Light Parade, Arizona Interscholastic Association Spiritline State Championship and the Cactus JAM, with three more events scheduled in March that were cancelled due to the coronavirus.
“[My last two goals were] to make our club more visible at the university and in the cheer community, and to learn about GCU’s culture,” said Messana.
To help make the club more visible in the cheer community, Messana had to come up with a new dynamic routine.
“Choreographing a routine in the beginning of the season is one giant puzzle piece,” said Messana. “Seeing each athlete use their individual strengths to make one cohesive team routine come together, and getting to see it from beginning to end, is the best feeling for both the athletes and the coach.”
A routine would be nothing without athletes to bring it to life. To help execute the routine, Messana looked to athletes like first-year GCU Club Spirit member Taylor Hines.
“Taylor stepped into any group or position I put her in without hesitation,” said Messana. “She is a versatile base and backspot, so deciding on one position for her was a challenge. Taylor also shines off the cheer mat. She participated in every event, was our top fundraiser for eTeamSponsor, and was always to practice on time.”
So did a reduced schedule reduce Messana’s checklist?
“Even with our season cut short, I hit all three of my goals with Club Spirit,” said Messana. “I will never forget this group of athletes I was blessed to work with my first year.”
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