By Herman Delgado
Being a cheerleader is no easy task, and it doesn’t get easier if you expect to take your talent to the top. Some want to make the middle school cheer team; others want to make to varsity. Many want to take it to the next level, becoming a Division One cheerleader and student athlete at whatever college they are planning to attend. During the 29th Annual UTEP Summer Cheer camp hosted by UTEP Athletics on July 2017, the long hours of practice, dedication and discipline was evident by the competition skill level of the young cheerleaders showcased the many long hours of practice they had dedicated and disciplined themselves over several years of their young lives.
More than 450 young boys and girls from the El Paso area came together under one roof to showcase their talent and skills. Loud cheers, chants, and shouting came through the tunnel entrance of the Don Haskins Center at the University of Texas at El Paso. Add hundreds of parents, family and friends in the stands supporting their cheerleaders and respective teams, and it amplified the sound of pride and spirit. Boys and girls ages five and up packed the floor of the Don Haskins and cheered at the top of their lungs to demonstrate who had the most spirit. They came to the camp wanting to learn what it takes to be a Division One cheerleader, and the UTEP Cheer Team did not let them down. They had an opportunity to ask questions and share stories with the UTEP cheerleaders, who at one time in their lives, they themselves sat where these young cheerleaders were now sitting.
UTEP Cheer Coaches Bianca Marquez and Caesar Cubillos and their team took charge and set the tone for these young cheerleaders to follow. This is Marquez’ third year as Head Coach and she has been with the program since 2005. She is no stranger to the UTEP team. She was a cheerleader with the university from 1996 – 2001. “The current UTEP Cheer Team is 100% local talent,” Marquez said.
Senior UTEP Cheerleader Breauna Briseno understands the importance of what this camp is all about. She first attended the same camp when she was five years old. “Our goal is to get little one’s inspired, and let them know there’s more to do then just sit at home and watch TV,” Briseno said. We want them “to get off their phones and get active.”
Another senior UTEP cheerleader, Bailey Sarver, is majoring in kinesiology, and you can see the pride, determination and skill level that she puts out on the floor. Sarver is a role model for all these young ladies, including incoming first year UTEP cheerleaders. Sarver wants these young boys and girls to understand that it’s not only important to be a cheerleader but to make a difference in their community. “To help them grow as cheerleaders, not only at their program at their school but in the community. We want to have a strong community program for cheer. I’ve been going to this camp since I was 7 years old,” Sarver said. “I have not missed a single UTEP camp in 14 years.” The thought of knowing that this is her last year as a UTEP cheerleader has been very emotional for Sarver. “I actually cried the other day in my car. It’s my last year,” she said.