Peri Bailey talks cheering at Washburn

Lillian Holmberg

New to the Washburn cheer team, freshman Peri Bailey is navigating her way through the world of college cheer.

Having cheered four years in high school as a student at Topeka High School, Bailey tried out for the Washburn cheer team her senior year.

“The end of your senior year you go to try-outs, so there’s a couple of clinic days where you stunt, and then they’ll email you videos of the material you need, like the fight song, which you memorize and then try-outs you do the fight song and they watch you at the clinics,” Bailey said.

Bailey said that, for her, the difference between high school cheer and college cheer is the amount of dedication.

“A lot of the cheerleaders take it a lot more seriously, so having people that want to be there and want to be committed definitely makes it a lot better and the team way stronger,” Bailey said.

With serious commitment comes serious obligations, which Bailey says is more than what is perceived from the outside.

“It definitely takes a lot more than people think. People think it’s just cheer, but we are in the weight room, we are stunting,” Bailey stated. “We have weights in the morning twice a week and then we have practices twice a week in the afternoon. Then we have work week, which is in preparation for the first football game. We cheer at all the home football games, and we also have community service and fundraising. So it does take up quite a bit of time, but for me it’s worth it.”

Her favorite part, Bailey says, is the team itself and the positive environment.

“We have almost a whole brand new team, a brand new coach this year, so everybody’s ready to just dig in,” Bailey said. “There’s no real negativity so far, and that’s what I’ve really liked.”

Edited by Adam White, Shelby Hanson