Hey everyone! It’s Tayler from Clemson University, where I am a senior on the All Girl cheerleading squad. This past Saturday, I cheered the season opener against Troy and had the time of my life!
It all started out Saturday morning when we reported bright and early for an appearance at the Tiger Cub Birthday. Tons of kids show up to meet us, and we have so much fun coloring, eating cupcakes, and talking to the kids.
After the Tiger Cub Birthday, we quickly warmed up our stunts and headed over to Tiger Walk. This is one of my favorite things because thousands of Clemson fans line the road leading up to the stadium cheering on the players, who dress up for the occasion, and of course, the cheerleaders!
After Tiger Walk, we headed into the stadium to warm up tumbling on the field and any last minute stunts before heading up to the stadium parade, where almost every single fan lines the Avenue of Champions to see the cheerleaders and hear the band play before heading into the stadium. We end the parade by chanting, “This is Tiger Territory” upon entering the stadium. When this is over, we know it’s game time!
Clemson is known for the “25 most exciting seconds in football”. The cheerleaders are on the field holding a huge flag as the football team appears at the top of the hill, and they each rub Howard’s Rock as a cannon goes off, then they run down the hill onto the field as we run across the field with our enormous “fighting tigers” flag. Hundreds of orange balloons are released and Death Valley is filled with the roar of 85,000 fans decked out in orange from head to toe. I get goose bumps each time I step foot onto the field, and can’t believe this is my final year getting to do so.
My squad did a great job, we have a ton of new girls, and they mastered new college pyramids, stunts, and baskets, right away! They kept the energy high all the way until we headed in for halftime.
Halftime is always fun because we get to meet the other school’s cheerleaders. I met Alyssa and Taylor from Troy, and they left at 4:30 am on a small bus to get to Clemson for a 3:30 game! It was great getting to talk to other cheerleaders and hearing how much they enjoyed cheering at our stadium.
We finished the final two quarters of the game with a bang, scoring 30 points! Each time our team scores, we have to tumble in the end zone and dance to our fight song, “Tiger Rag”. It’s exhausting, but knowing that your team has scored makes it so much fun when you hear the entire stadium spell out “C-L-E-M-S-O…N!”
After the game ended, we rushed the field and sang our school’s Alma Mater with the football team. We ended up beating Troy 43-19, and I am so proud to call myself a Clemson Tiger Cheerleader. I’m sad that this is my final year cheering, but I know I have so much to look forward to the rest of the year.! Go tigers!