Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina's Catamount Cheerleading squad will hold its annual open tryouts the weekend of April 24-26, 2015 in the Camp Lab Gymnasium on the WCU campus.
Tryouts are open to all current Western Carolina University students in good academic standing, as well as incoming freshmen and transfer students. Both men and women are encouraged to tryout for positions on the squad. Participants must show proof of insurance and acceptance to WCU in order to take part in the activities.
All tryout information and required forms are available in the packet below in PDF form. Registration will take place on Friday, April 24, which will be followed by a brief meeting before the tryout clinic begins. (Participants are encouraged to print out registration forms and bring to the tryout completed). The tryout will include required sessions on Friday evening and Saturday (April 25) morning with the audition all day on Sunday, April 26. There is also an optional Saturday afternoon session for those looking for additional work.
The 2015-16 squad tryout will include technical components, as well as additional items such as a timed mile run and an interview process with the coaching staff. Standing tumbling requirements vary but typically include the back handspring (standing tucks, standing back handspring tucks, toe backs, etc., will be scored higher). Running tumbling requirements also vary, but include a round-off back handspring series and/or tuck (pikes, whips, layouts and fulls will be scored higher).
As a small coed squad, both coed and all-girl coed stunting is used with all positions open. The final squad list will be announced on Sunday following the final day of the tryout.
An "open gym" session will be held prior to the tryout to allow interested participants to workout with the coaching staff in preparation for the tryout sessions. The open gym time is Monday, April 20 from 5:30 pm until 7:30 pm in Camp Lab Gym on campus. The open session is not required in order to tryout or to be considered for the 2015-16 team.
The Catamount cheerleaders are under the direction of two Western Carolina alums and former WCU Cheer squad members. Kim Cherry-Beck, a four-year cheerleader and three-time team MVP, is the squad's head coach with assistant coach Ashley Morgan (WCU, 2010) also guiding the squad.
The primary objectives of the Catamount cheerleaders are to help promote school spirit and add to the game day experiences of all Catamount athletics, and to be the best in the Southern Conference. The WCU cheerleaders perform at all home and select away Catamount football games, as well as during both Catamount men's and women's basketball home games. The cheerleaders also traditionally perform at the annual Southern Conference men's and women's basketball championships.
Since 2001, the Catamount cheerleaders have attended the National Cheerleading Association (NCA) / National Dance Association (NDA) national championship event nine times. According to available records, the squad has advanced to the national finals four times, doing so in 2002, 2003, 2010 and 2013.
WCU's 2013 squad finished sixth in its division overall, entering the finals in third-place after the preliminary round. In 2012, the cheerleaders recorded a ninth-place showing. Catamount cheer placed a program-best third in 2002.
WCU's squad, which will begin preparation for the 2015-16 seasons with two required summer practice sessions, June 26-28, and in early-to-mid August.