ISU cheerleaders welcome young fans to the clinic

NORMAL — Illinois State University Cheer coached a new batch of Redbird cheerleaders during a Cheer Clinic Sunday before the halftime show at the men’s basketball game later that day.

Lauren Morris, head of cheerleading, said they have nearly 100 families to bring their children, ages 4 to 12, to learn with the ISU cheer team at Horton Field House.

Brevyn, 4, participates in a layup during Illinois State University’s cheerleading practice Sunday at Horton Field House.

“It’s amazing to have all these kids here,” Morris said of the crowded gymnasium. “We’re basically building a fanbase for Redbird Athletics.”

The students involved in ISU Cheer led the young participants who performed various drills in preparation for their big performance.

Lucy Comins helped teach child participants how to do different cheers during Illinois State University’s Cheer Clinic Sunday at Horton Field House.

Lucy Comins of ISU Cheer said, “We’re putting on some tumbling, stomping and jumping.”

She said the cheer centers at an early age are what inspired her to continue playing.

“(The medical center) is really special,” Comins said, “because I remember. When I was their age, I would look up to the cheerleaders, like myself, and I would try to be.”

She said, “It’s really awesome to see them happy and excited to be here.”

Lucy Comins, center, leads a group of cheerleading practice participants Sunday at Horton Field House.

Cecily Munoz said she brought three of her children to the clinic.

“I have three daughters who are participating here: 12, 11 and 8 (years old),” she said.

Munoz said, “It’s fun

Cecily Munoz, left, and Jae Jamison each brought their children to Illinois State University’s cheer hall Sunday at Horton Field House.

Comins said this is the second clinic of its kind this school year, with the other being held during football season.

Cheerleader Brynn Messenger said the process has improved.

“This is the first time I’ve been a part of a basketball team,” Messenger said. “I feel like we’ve got a new system with them, so there’s a lot more consistency this year.”

Kailey, 4, practices stunting during Illinois State University’s cheerleading practice Sunday at Horton Field House.

Morris said such centers are beneficial for all parties involved.

“It’s just a great thing for the community, to really get the kids involved and take your hands off them,” she said. “It really helps the promoters, too, in teaching the kids.”

Children ages 4 to 12 participate in a cheer camp Sunday hosted by Illinois State University Cheer at Horton Field House.

ISU freshman Joey Kall said this was his first educational experience.

“I think it’s really cool,” Kall said, “the future of the Redbirds, people watching us (and) working with them. It makes it emotional.”

Messenger added, “It’s always a good time to see the future of Redbird happiness.”

Brynn Messenger, left, and Joey Kall watch children participate in a cheer camp Sunday at Horton Field House.

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