Athletes put their bodies on the line in every sport when they compete to achieve their goal to win the championship.
Two dedicated FAMU athletes are Ashley Garrett, a junior broadcast student from Orlando, and Michelle Hunter, a Lake Butler FAMU-FSU Co-op student majoring in Hotel management and hospitality.
These two cheerleaders are prepared to lead their team in achieving FAMU’s 1st MEAC Cheerleading Championship. Last season, the squad placed second in the championship.
The two best friends are known for being inseparable by their teammates.
“We are best friends and freshman sisters,” said Garrett. “We both have been cheering since we were little.”
Both Garrett and Hunter say that they love to cheer because they love making people happy and entertaining crowds.
“Cheerleading requires a certain amount of dedication and is not a sport that is easy,” said Hunter.
The squad has an intense practice schedule, with two-a-day practices Monday through Saturday, starting at 5:30 a.m. and ending at 6:45 p.m. They then go to a training camp to help them work on their conditioning.
Coach Brandi Tatum said that she believes the two are very dedicated athletes and have grown a lot since their freshmen year, and that some of the other teammates look up to them.
“They have a very positive and dynamic attitude with great determination and drive,” said Tatum. “I’ve seen them come in as freshmen and work hard and grow to balance school, personal life, activities and training and the two of them defiantly do a great job doing all of these things.”
The coach acknowledges that both women bring different dynamics to the team.
“Ashley brings a positive vibe to the team,” Tatum said. “She’s always energetic and always performs. Michelle is funny [and] picks the team up when they’re down.”
Tatum said that these things will be very helpful as they try to achieve their first MEAC championship trophy.
The competition is being held March 8th at 6:30 p.m. at The Winston Salem Sports Entertainment Complex.
“We want as many fans as possible to come out and support us, we really need the support,” Tatum said.