Origins of the cheer squad
By Brandon Byrne
In September 2022, students Angelique and Aaliyah Vories, twins, walked into the Black Cultural Resource Center (BCRC). They went with one goal in mind: to bring more athleticism and cheer to Las Positas College.
Despite the longstanding absence of a cheer squad on campus, the two pursued their idea. They saw a range of needs on campus, from boosting morale and spirit to encouraging athletes in the midst of their seasons. They also knew a solution: a cheer squad.
Angelique and Aaliyah Vories approached Carolyn Scott, an administrative assistant, to be an adviser to the new club they were proposing. Scott, who had high school cheer experience, was excited to take on the new project.
“There were other students in the BCRC that day, and word
quickly spread about the club,” Scott said. "The cheer club
immediately took hold. Leadership grew as Scott invited
Emerald Templeton, an LPC Education Partnerships Project
Manager, to join the team as co-advisor. Templeton, who
started a dance team at Ohlone Community College — her
alma mater— agreed to the offer and will utilize her experience
in advising LPC’s Cheer Squad.
The idea approached official club status in September 2022, as
initiating paperwork began. The Vories sisters established
themselves as coaches, and shortly after the paperwork, they
held an assessment, searching for club members and other
officers. The assessment expanded the team to four coaches,
and almost two dozen total members.
Autumn Armstrong, a sophomore anthropology major, tried
out with a full repertoire of cheer experience, including eight
years in All-Star Cheer. All-Star Cheer is an athletic, team-based
and competitive sport that differentiates itself from sideline
cheer, which tends to be non-competitive.
“I don’t really do that rah-rah stuff. I’m more into the high energy and the competition element of All-Star Cheer,” Armstrong said.
With this expertise in competitive cheer, the Vories sisters recruited her as a club coach.
“I wanted to help them start a Cheer Squad because LPC is expanding, and our athletics department should expand with it,” Armstrong said.
Autumn Armstrong’s sister, Alayna, also joined the squad and serves as a team coach alongside the Vories. The Armstrong sisters reminisce on cheering together as children.
“I get to spend time with her outside of our house, which is always nice,” Autumn said. “Alayna and I used to be on the same cheer team a long time ago, so I already knew that we work well together.”
With an eye toward the club’s future, Autumn would like to perform at both men’s and women’s basketball games during the Spring 2023 semester. “I don’t think only the men should have the privilege of seeing us perform and cheer for them. The women’s team deserves the love too!” Autumn said.
The team prepares for games by practicing six hours a week during their athletic season. This time investment is the only way to prepare for the performance season, physically and mentally. They practice cheers and dance routines, talk strategy, and even build team camaraderie with various spirit days. Whether it’s pigtail day, “white lie” shirt day or twin day, the team builds community, becoming a cheer family.
It began with two sisters and an idea. In Fall 2022, it blossomed into a class-sized club with a common goal: bring more athleticism and cheer to Las Positas College.