University of South Florida alumni cheerleaders were welcomed back on the field during the homecoming football game against University of Connecticut.
“Homecoming’s really fun,” said Sandy Clarke, the USF All-Girl Cheerleading head coach. “It’s that time of year where everybody kind of comes back.”
As alumni, the former cheerleaders had the opportunity to come back to Raymond James Stadium and cheer among the current USF cheerleaders during the pregame show.
“I definitely miss being on the field though and it was cool getting to be on the field for just pregame,” said Sara Blaylock, former USF cheerleading captain.
Being back on the field wasn’t the only upside to homecoming, however. Some of the alumni cheerleaders were seeing each other for the first time in years. Head coach Clarke remembers how special the reunions were when she was on the team.
“I remember when I was on the team looking at the alumni that would come back to practices and thinking, ‘oh that’s so cool, they’re so genuinely excited to see their old teammates,’” said Clarke.
Blaylock describes the relationships made while on the USF cheerleading team as unforgettable. In fact, Clarke, Blaylock, and Jessica White, another USF cheerleading alumna, said that the friendships were some of their favorite things about being a USF cheerleader.
“They’re just lifelong friendships,” said Clarke. “It’s very fun.”
Clarke mentioned growth as being another one of her favorite things about the program. Since becoming a part of the program in 2002, Clarke has seen it evolve over the years. Blaylock even noticed growth in her four years on the team.
“I think it’s just growing into something really good,” said Blaylock.
The USF football team ended homecoming week with a 42-27 win over UConn. The Bulls will travel to Philadelphia next weekend to face Temple for their fourth conference game.