CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi Islanders Cheer Team welcomed a special guest at practice on Saturday, Dec. 7, in the Moody Fieldhouse. Head Instructor for the National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) Jared Hall shared his knowledge with the team to prepare them for the Spirit Celebration National Championships on Feb. 22-23 at the University of North Texas.
"I thoroughly enjoyed working with the Islanders Cheer program," Hall said. "The program has definitely continued to grow over the past years since I saw them last. They definitely are a great team to work with, lots of energy and enthusiasm for cheer, and supporting Islanders Athletics with pride.
"I hope that they are now able to take the things we worked on and progress even further. I definitely look forward to coming back in January to do a follow-up visit."
Hall, a former cheerleader for Sam Houston State, helped his team win nationals in 2012 and knows what it takes to succeed at the collegiate level.
"He came my freshman year, but I feel our team this year has what it takes to get to the next level and Jared's skills that he brought to us on Saturday will help us achieve our goals at nationals," Captain Alyssa Echeverria said. "With that said, the cheerleaders were determined to learn from him and they never gave up, especially the coeds."
Hall and the Islanders practiced coed stunts in the morning along with all-girl and team stunts in the afternoon. For the all-girl stunts, he worked with the girls on their bid video for nationals and helped the coeds polish their sideline skills along with their timeout routines. Hall taught the squad safety skills, including the correct techniques and handgrips in order to try new stunts and make current stunts easier.
"I'm used to working with the all-girl groups from being a former cheerleader myself, so I needed a coed point of view to help the coeds," Islanders Head Stunt and Tumbling Coach Catherine Calderone said. "I saw a huge improvement in the coeds from him coming out and having a coed-to-coed lesson."
The Islanders will welcome Hall back to campus on Jan. 18 to help the team polish their competition routine and to sharpen the skills that he taught them on Saturday.
"Overall it was a very good experience for the entire team and we are ready to see what nationals has for us," Echeverria added.
For the latest on Islanders Cheer, like the team on Facebook (Islanders Cheer), follow them on Twitter (@islander_cheer) and visit www.GoIslanders.com.