Sofia Paglioni/Contributing Writer
Samford Cheerleading is no stranger to twists and turns. So when COVID-19 spread around the United States and reached Samford University, the squad did what they do best.
They persevered through team spirit and Bulldog pride.
You can continuously catch the team tumbling at practice, perfecting their routines or encouraging other sports teams on gameday. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has created quite a change in their daily routines and practices.
The squad missed the opportunity to cheer at football games in the fall, and it has already been an interesting Samford basketball season this semester as the squad learns to adapt to the differences prior to the pandemic.
Cole Owens, one of Samford’s sophomore cheerleaders, is ecstatic about the opportunities the new spring season brings. The cheerleaders, he said, feel safe while cheerleading in the midst of the pandemic due to all the precautions Samford has set in place. Despite COVID-19 regulations, the team continues to cheer on basketball players in the safest way possible: from the stands.
The cheerleading team wears masks and encourages social distancing at the games and during practices, but that does not stop them from continuing their routines. They have not only embraced the precautions, but have improvised routines in order to continue cheering.
“Homecoming was not an in-person routine, it was just a video of our routine but just as fun to me,” Owens said.
Owens said he sees no down side to cheering during a pandemic and enjoys being able to continue a sport that gives him motivation and community. He continually mentioned how he believes that because of their hard work and dedication, the team deserves just as much recognition and perks as the other athletic teams on campus.
Although the squad has been unable to carry out clinics, travel games and other events, their spirits are high and they are more motivated than ever for the spring season. The COVID-19 pandemic has proven just how important encouragement and community are to those who need it most.