Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Evelyn Villalobos and I am a second semester staff writer for The Collegian.
My hope is this will be my last semester as a Delta College student, because after six long semesters, I finally got it together.
Like the ending of a stage in life, I do have some regrets.
In my time at Delta, I wish I would have spent less time stressing.
At times, I was so stressed about being stressed, that I stressed even more because I couldn’t find a way to deal with all this stress.
Rather than finding an outlet for me to escape, I sat and soaked in all my problems. I wasn’t aware of all the extracurricular activities and clubs Delta offered.
As I begin my last semester as a Mustang, I have decided to try everything this college has to offer that I was either too afraid to do, never found the time to do, or didn’t think I could do.
Where better to start than with the people who get the campus excited to be Mustangs?
THE RALLY BACK
The campus lost its pep in 2008. The cheer team reformed this year after a long hiatus.
Spearheaded by current cheer captain Christina Arcos, the team now is six strong.
All sports on campus require an advisor. Finding a full-time faculty member to qualify as an advisor was a struggle for Arcos.
After confirming Dr. Steven Graham, dean of Humanities, Social Science, Education, Kinesiology and Athletics, as an advisor, Graham set out to reinforce the cheer team as an athletic sport on campus by creating a class for the team to obtain units from.
The official athletic site of San Joaquin Delta College currently states that “there is no cheer team for the current athletic season,” but the team certainly cheers for both the men’s and women’s current basketball season.
The team has a class, but it is not recognized as an athletic team.
Rather than being included as many of the athletic teams on campus, the cheer team is listed as an athletic resource.
“They do not consider cheerleading a sport here, so we’re hoping to work our way up to getting funding. Until then, it’s just all out of pocket and fundraising,” said Arcos.
The cheerleaders also conduct fundraisers to help pay for the costs of maintaining the team.
BRING IT ON
After learning about the history of the team while stretching, I was ready to take on the challenge.
The longer we stretched, the higher my anxiety levels rose. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the team.
I never imagined myself as the cheerleading “type”.
By “type”, I mean the stereotypical slender and athletic body type of a naturally beautiful woman bursting with enthusiasm and pep. That wasn’t me.
At this point I figured it was now or never, so I picked myself up and I asked for help.
Cheerleading wasn’t easy.
Practice was fast paced, with continuously changing routines. Adjusting to new moves and gestures was difficult because I completely lacked experience in everything and all things cheer.
Observing the team assembling a new routine was exhausting. I couldn’t imagine kicking as high as I could and jumping as swift as possible to land perfect stunts.
Luckily, the team was very helpful and encouraging. Though at times I felt as if I was never going to learn, they were determined to teach me.
By the end of practice, I felt confident.
Despite my awkward hand placements and sad excuse for a kick, I was able to finish the night with a strong “Mighty Mustangs” cheer with the team.
The team puts in hard work to every single one of their routines and cheers three days a week, not including performing at sporting events.
The cheerleaders get the crowd pumped and cheering along during games. They give our sports teams the confidence and support that they need to win.
I attended just one practice with the team and though it was difficult, the result was rewarding. As a bystander, I never once thought of all the practice and hard work that these women put themselves through on top of their school and work schedules to perfect their routines.
Similar to the other athletes on campus, the cheerleaders find a way to make it work. They deserve to be recognized as an athletic team and cheerleading deserves to be treated as a sport.