CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi Cheer Team will make history when they travel to Denton, Texas to compete in the Spirit Celebration Collegiate Nationals at the University of North Texas on Sunday, Feb. 23 at 6:19 p.m. It will mark the first time that an Islanders cheer squad will compete in a collegiate competition.
The Islanders will be competing against Sam Houston State Co-Ed, Sam Houston State All Girl, Navarro College, UTPA, Blinn College and UT Arlington in the Division I Intermediate Co-Ed. Islanders Head Stunt and Tumbling Coach Kate Calderone has choreographed a Michael Jackson remix for her team who will be the last team to perform for the day.
"I'm extremely proud of all the hard work and dedication that his team has put in," Calderone said. "We had 17 members return in the spring semester and this team has really stuck together and pushed each other to the next level. This will be Islanders Cheer Team first ever competition team and I'm extremely excited for them to hit the floor and show all their hard work this year."
The team has been working on their skills since July and began the choreography in late January. Fans will be able to check out a portion of their routine during halftime of the men's basketball homecoming game on March 1.
"The program has definitely grown since my freshman year," junior Sarah Vasquez said. "Coach Kate came in and completely changed the program around and got us to compete for the first time and we are super excited. We have been working hard on this challenging routine and are excited to finally show everybody that we can compete right along with them."
During the routine, the Islanders highlight their best tumbling and stunting skills along with showcasing a fun dance. The Islanders are especially excited about the dance portion of the routine since it's a skill the team doesn't really showcase during the year.
This year, the squad's main goal is to hit a clean routine in preparation for going to Daytona next year for the NCA Nationals.
"I'm extremely proud of what the cheer team has been able to accomplish, and how they have overcome roster changes, and injuries in order to put together a collegiate-level routine," Spirit Teams Head Coach Melanie Lowry said. "Coach Kate has held extra practices for the team and has really taken them to the next level. She has been a great addition to the university since coming here in 2012.
For the latest on Islanders Dance and Islanders Cheer, like the team on Facebook (Islanders Dance and Islanders Cheer), follow them on Twitter (@IslandersDance, @islander_cheer) and visit www.GoIslanders.com.