(5-17-17) So how does a varsity cheerleader from Celina (Ohio) end up cheering at the University of Wyoming? Give up?
For Breah Anderson, it all makes sense if you think about it, here is how it all went down.
Her dad Brian and one of his best friends from high school, Mike, now a football coach at Wyoming, were talking on the phone and the result was a plan that might work for Breah.
Yep, it’s a true story and looking back, it looks like it was the right move. Who would of thought it, a DI football coach would help in the recruitment of a D1 cheerleader.
Former Celina Bulldog and the current Running Backs/Fullbacks Football Coach at Wyoming Mike Bath:
Brian has always been one of my closest friends, and last summer we were on the phone. Brian was talking about Breah’s not being settled on the places that she was checking out locally, and had a desire to ‘get away.’ We began to throw out there the idea of Wyoming as a possibility. We have a great law school here, and I knew that is the path that she had a desire in pursuing, and having known her parents since we were kids, I felt it would be a potential fit.
When Brian and Breah came out in the fall, I believe she felt at home. With my family and I being entrenched here, we could give Breah an honest picture of what Wyoming is about, while also introducing her to some additional adults that we have become friends with, which I believe made her parents more comfortable! Outside of cheerleading activities, my wife introduced her to the FCA director and some other student athletes that were involved with it as well. It’s been fun to have her and her parents come out and visit several times, and I know that my our children are looking forward to her coming out here for school.
The next step in the process was making a trip to Wyoming for a visit to try-out in April. To cheer at a DI program is a ‘BIG’ deal in this very competitive sport, plus Breah, who suffered an injury last summer and was unable to cheer this past year, made it all that more impressive.
The try-out process is more than smiling and just shaking your pom-pom, this is a tough sport and an athlete needs to have numerous skills, athleticism and toughness.
Matthew ‘Mateo’ Ortega Head Spirit Coach / Program Director, University of Wyoming:
Breah was one of 78 in-person and video submissions candidates for tryouts this year, She was one of 13 freshmen to make this year’s team. Tryouts were a 3 day process. Day 1 is a formal panel interview with a panel of 7 judges that focuses on character, academics, personality and social skills. Day 2 and 3 are skill evaluation days that focus on assessing each candidate’s skills in performance ability, tumbling, stunting, and crowd leading. Both standing and running tumbling have become a requirement to make the team. We had cuts on day 2 and final team selection on day 3.
The LARGE COED squad is made up of 9 couples (so 18 total, 9 men & 9 women) – the stunting style is one male basing one female. The SMALL COED squad is made up of 3-4 men and the 16-17 females – the stunting style is ‘group’ stunting involving four positions: 2 bases, 1 back spot and 1 flyer. Breah made the small coed team as a base. We stress we are two squads but ONE TEAM. We also have a 4 member mascot team to fill the role of our beloved mascot – Pistol Pete.
We cheer at all home football games, a significant number of away football games, as well as, all home volleyball, men’s basketball and women’s basketball games. We also take a select group of cheerleaders to cheer at bowl games, conference championships and tournaments. We participate in over 120 hours of community service and public appearance each year and support other University of Wyoming sports as much as possible. We have also competed nationally two out of the three past years and have placed top ten each time in our division. Our cheerleaders are often featured on ESPN during game and tournament coverage.
UW Spirit Squad Recruitment Video
Breah was very fortunate to have a steady coaching influence during her cheer career at Celina, the sport continues to evolve and it takes someone who knows how to work with an athlete on this platform.
Breah’s cheer coach while at Celina Sandi Feltz:
I’ve coached Breah since she was in Middle School. She has always been a very determined young lady. Whatever goals she sets for herself or her team she accomplishes without fail.
I’ve coached competitive cheer, school cheer and competitive gymnastics for a combined 30 years and Breah is one of the hardest working, disciplined athletes I’ve ever coached. Breah consistently strives to better herself and her teammates. She is concerned for others as much as herself. I believe her philosophy is that ” you are only as strong as the weakest link“. Breah is a team player.
Breah is a very skilled athlete. She has all qualities needed to be a top notch college cheerleader. She has consistently worked on all aspects of cheerleading to improve.
Last summer Breah suffered a devastating injury. This injury took her out of all sports for her entire senior year. It was devastating for her and myself as her coach. Breah never lost sight of her goal to be a college cheerleader. Many people doubted that she would be able to try out in April for college cheer yet Breah kept her focus on her rehab and persevered through many set backs to achieve her goal. I never once doubted that if she desired to cheer in college she would do everything in her power to make that happen.
Breah is a very mature young lady who has the upmost respect for others. She will consistently “play by the rules” and never once did I discipline her for any infractions. She is able to balance her school work, which includes college courses, and jobs with ease while maintaining a high GPA.
Breah is an amazing young lady and I am honored to have been her coach for six years.
The final ok came from Breah’s mom, Kelly, who went to Wyoming to check out the school and watch the try-outs.
On Facebook during the trip she shared her feelings.
My very first trip to Wyoming. It’s now very clear to me why Breah is so excited to be moving here! Beautiful people and beautiful views everywhere you look! Not to mention some really awesome friends Mike and Tara Bath.
Tonight I am thankful for $49 Frontier Flights because I’m sure we will be making this trip several times the next four years!
In a recent Daily Standard story Breah talked about why Wyoming was the right choice:
Within 30 minutes of being on campus. I looked at my dad and said ‘We’re going to cancel all my other college visits. This is where I’m going.’ It was exactly what I was looking for.
A story of a cheerleader, who set her goals, worked hard, overcame a serious injury, knew what she wanted, good grades, great family, friends and coaches and is a good person…it’s a formula for a successful run for Breah Anderson.
What is a base on a cheerleading squad:
- Base: the cheerleader on the bottom of a partner stunt/pyramid
What steps it took to be a squad member at Wyoming?
Skills needed to be a base on small coed team:
- Standing Tuck, Running Tuck (those with layouts and above will be given preference), base full-up, switch-up, low-to-high & inverted stunts, etc.
Breah and her team can be followed on social media at: