Cheer squad ready for season

Suzanne BuchholzReporter

The Raiders cheer squad is looking for three more people to join its team after holding tryouts at the Fort Steilacoom campus Oct. 3-4.

The Raiders cheer squad strives to give students opportunities to be creative and work with others while promoting school spirit, according to its official website. The cheerleaders show their support of their college at many major events.

Students of all skill levels are welcome to try out for the team. Cheerleading experience is not necessary, according to Head Cheer Coach Katelin Grothe.

“What we are really looking for is that these girls or guys are confident and that if they mess up, it’s ok,” Grothe said. “They’re going to keep going, they don’t show that they’re messing up and they’re just trying the best they can.”

The tryouts, held in the Fort Steilacoom Health Education Center, spanned over Saturday and Sunday. Saturday was spent teaching the routines to students, while the actual tryouts were held on Sunday.

Despite the students displaying many different levels of skill, Grothe said the rankings for potential cheerleaders were even for the most part. The cheerleaders were selected based on who scored highest in the rankings.

The members of the Raiders cheer squad this season are Brittany Leggett, Cady Dean, Jacinta Rodriguez, Joshua Bautista, Kaitlin Ross, Makayla Jaeger, Adriana Valenzuela, Avery Laurin, Autumn Diaz, Jamila Crump, Kim Amundson and Kaylea Swanson.  

This year’s captains are Brittany Leggett and Cady Dean. This is the second year Dean has been on the team, and she said she’s grateful for the opportunity.

“I tried out in fall 2014 and have been on the team ever since,” Dean said. “I originally tried out because I had just had a baby and I needed something to get me motivated to be fit and healthy again. But then I soon grew to love everyone involved and what they were about.”

In addition to performing at halftime for both the men’s and women’s basketball teams for the 2015-16 season, the team also plans to perform at a few volleyball games during fall quarter.

Those aren’t the only plans the team has this year. Not only will they be performing at sporting events, but they’ll be competing for the first time in Pierce cheer history. They plan on winning, according to Dean.

The team is based in Fort Steilacoom, but Grothe wants to bring as much of the action to the Puyallup campuses possible. The team is putting in an effort to host Spirit Days and advertise for games on both campuses. They’re also trying to draw more people to the games by offering free giveaways to spectators.

“We’ve got lots of cool Raiders gear now, and there’s been talk that we might do a raffle gift basket,” Grothe said.

Anyone who wants to try out for the team should contact Grothe at 509-531-7726 or by e-mail at

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Suzanne Buchholz

Cheer squad ready for season

by Suzanne Buchholz time to read: 2 min