Written by Dowling Payne
The VSU cheerleaders traveled to Daytona, Fla. on Wednesday for the biggest competition of the year.
AC Freeman, cheerleading captain and a senior psychology major, can’t wait to step out onto the mats.
This is Freeman’s fourth season, both on the team and competing at the NCA College Nationals.
The Blazers won the competition back-to-back in 2010 and 2011, and are hoping to say the same about this year’s competition.
The team will have preliminaries today in which they will have two minutes and 30 seconds to show the judges their best work and perform their routine. After the competition, the team will return on Sunday.
Freeman was born in Puerto Rico but moved to Georgia at a very young age. Growing up, cheering became her passion and stuck with her throughout college.
According to Freeman, the atmosphere and relationships that she formed with fellow cheerleaders made her feel as if she had a support system.
The team spends time together every day and relies on each other for more than just catching flyers in a stunt routine.
“I love the friendships that we built,” Freeman said. “We spend so much time together that we gain friendships that will last a lifetime.”
Freeman feels that one of the most special moments of the season was when her team witnessed the football team win their national championship.
“I was so excited for every football player knowing all the hard work they had put in,” she said. “I was just so excited to be there.”
For the cheerleaders, it’s more than just winning another cheer competition.
They work year round to prepare their routine and share a common goal as teammates.
According to Freeman, cheering is why she loves VSU.
Her spare time is spent with her teammates, and after graduation she plans to continue to work with and encourage her team.
One of Freeman’s biggest fans and boyfriend Brandon Klunder has seen her progress as a cheerleader over the past two years.
“I admire her dedications because she constantly works hard in school and cheerleading,” Klunder said. “She handles herself very well.”
Graduate Assistant Sakinah Clarke has worked with Freeman for the past five years– first as teammates and now as a coach.
“Her passion for the sport and her contagious attitude are by far her best qualities,” Clarke said. “When I think of a well rounded person, I think of AC.”
According to Freeman, the experience has taught her much more than she expected.
“This program has taught me drive, determination, motivation, teamwork, desire, she said. “ You have to fight for what you want to accomplish.”