UTPA Report: Bronc Cheerleaders
POSTED: Monday, September 2, 2013 - 8:36am
UPDATED: Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - 7:12am
EDINBURG, TX (KVEO NEWS CENTER 23) — Bronc spirit at UT Pan American is alive and well according to the latest results from the Universal Cheerleaders Association's camp held recently at Texas State University. In this week’s Newscenter 23 report, Roxanne Lerma introduces us to the spirit team that’s on the rebound and ready for a new challenge.
The UTPA spirit program ruled the sidelines at their summer camp and competition in San Marcos, Eric Rodriguez, UTPA Spirit Program Coordinator, “The kids were very excited to go. Most of them hadn’t been to a college setting camp. They were used to their average UCA high school camp.”
UTPA cheerleader, Michelle Guerra said the dance and cheer teams made quite an impression on the judges, Michelle Guerra, UTPA Cheerleader, “It was amazing. For the staff to say that UTPA is back, it’s because we really showed something. We did great we won a lot and I’m so happy with the team.”
Melissa Gutierrez, a three year veteran of the team and co-captain, was loud and proud about nabbing the top honors, “This year we got first in two things in fight song and in sideline cheer and then we got the most collegiate award which is a big deal because the only other two teams that got it were the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma which are big programs."
Head coach Eric Rodriguez agrees that Most Collegiate is the most impressive, “That was the most prestigious award that tells me that I did my job over the summer.”
The accomplishments at the camp mean having even greater expectations for the spirit program in the near future. The cheer team plans to compete at the College Nationals in Florida in January. Rodriguez took over the program in 2011 with the goal of regaining a UCA national ranking for the University.
Melissa, “So hopefully we get to rank up there at nationals the last time Pan Am competed was in 2007 so we hope to just get back in there and get the name out there and improve the program.”
It’s going to take hard work, dedication and countless practice, but the spirit members say they’re up for the challenge. They’re prepared to put in the effort, to restore the program to its former glory. The last time UTPA picked up a national crown was in 2000.
Melissa, “We have a long road ahead of us but we have a dedicated team this year and we have a big team”
Michelle, “It’s going to take a lot of long hours, a lot of long practices it’s going to take maintaining our GPA’s as well because they look at that too. When we go out to Florida they look at that too. We have to turn in some footage that shows how we represent the university and our grade point average because they look at that.”
It's not the glitz of the uniform that matters, but the spirit that shines within it. I’m Roxanne Lerma, reporting for UTPA and Newscenter 23.
The UTPA mascot, Bucky the Bronc, also picked up top honors at the summer camp. He kicked up his hoofs to win the Traditions Award along with U-T Austin's mascot in the large co-ed division.