Both the co-ed squad and the all-girls cheerleading squad started preparing cheers, stunts and uniforms for homecoming as soon as they returned to Tallahassee from the Atlanta Classic.
Assistant coach Felicia Barnes said she is most excited about the parade. Kids love the cheerleaders and will be excited to see all 30 of them in the parade this year, she said.
“We start the parade and everyone gets to see a little more of what the cheerleaders do this year,” Barnes said. “We have to get up at six in the morning, so you have to appreciate the people getting up that early just to support and watch us.”
This is the first homecoming that the cheerleaders will have both squads at events. This will help them reach all the fans and provide them with entertainment and excitement. They will also throw out 5000 mini footballs to fans at the game.
Chelsey Grant, a biology student from Dallas, said this is her first homecoming as a FAMU cheerleader. She is most excited about the alumni cheerleaders coming back to cheer with the squads at the game.
The alumni cheerleaders that have graduated and cheered within the past four years will join the two squads cheering at the homecoming football game.
Along with creating new cheers for the game, Tatum wants to make sure the cheerleaders participate in all events they were asked to attend.
Ria Floyd, a pharmacy student from Gulfport, Miss., said that she is excited about all the festivities that will be going on all week.
“I know I will be tired because along with going to class, I have to study for a test and get prepared for homecoming, but I can’t wait to be there for all the homecoming action,” Floyd said.
The cheerleaders will start at the “Midnight Madness Pandemonium Homecoming Kick-Off Celebration” event at the FAMU track on Sunday. The next day, they will cheer on the set for “Birthday Bash 124,” a celebration for FAMU.
Tuesday the two squads will host the “Lengthening Our Lives” Health and Safety Fair at Tookes Recreation Center. On Wednesday the cheerleaders will be at the BET College Tour Invasion at FAMU park.
The cheerleaders will show school spirit at convocation and the pep rally on Friday, and finish up with the parade and football game on Saturday.
“At the beginning of the week when the flags go up around the university and people start seeing the orange and green, they really start getting excited to see what the university has to offer for homecoming,” Tatum said. “It sets the stage for what is to come.”