Our football season opener is right around the corner and that means game day preparation has begun. Prior to this week, practices have been filled with open stunting and running the fight song over and over again. Let me say one thing about the fight song…I can do it in my sleep. Often, I have nightmares about the fight song. We do it so many times on game day that the count reaches 20. Not saying I do not love the fight song, which I do, but I do not think everyone realizes how important it is. The fight song is a sacred part of ISU athletic events. Every athletic team here knows the words and sings it at the end of each game, no matter the outcome. So, most of our time is spent perfecting the motions, stunts and jumps that go into the fight song.
This week was pyramid week. I could not have been happier. I love pyramids and so does the crowd. Though the danger level is sometimes maxed out, ISU Cheerleading never lets a pyramid fall. That goes for all stunts as well. We are on the field and court to be crowd- pleasers. Fans do not want to see something fall to the ground or watch a girl come crashing down from the top. Everything we do hits. Pyramids are not something to mess around with. The focus level of everyone in the pyramid has to be 110%, as well as the surrounding spotters. When it is time to build a three-high stunt, the talking stops, the spotters’ arms go automatically up and everyone is watching. The fate of the top girls is put in everyone’s hands, which is why focus is necessary. Nothing is different about all-girl and co-ed pyramids. They both have the same difficultly level. The approach of getting up might be different but the rest is mirrored between the two. At practice, co-ed and all-girl perfected some basic and more difficult pyramids for the home opener.
All-Girl: 2-2-1, 1-1-1 and Swedish fall
Co-ed: 2-2-1, 1-1-1, front handspring a-frame
These numbers and words probably mean gibberish to you. A 2-2-1 is exactly what it sounds like. There are two guys or two girls with backspots on the bottom. The next two is a girl on each bottom layers’ shoulders so it is two high. The one is the very top girl who stands on the middle layer’s forearms.
A 1-1-1 is a bottom layer, a girl with a backspot or a guy, holding the middle layer girl on shoulders. The last one is the top girl standing on the middle layer’s thigh that is being held up by a guy.
A Swedish fall is set up like the 2-2-1 but the top girl is laying belly-down while the middle layers hold her top half and one foot while the other foot is in the air. The front handspring A-frame is kind of set up like the 2-2-1 but the middle layers are standing differently on the bottom layers shoulders.
The pyramid is called an A-frame because in the end it makes the shape of the letter A. As far as the front handspring, the top girl is launched up in the air from a handstand position and rotates 180 degrees once hitting the middle layer’s thighs.
Obviously, pyramids are very complex and have a lot of positions going on at the same time. Most of our fans do not know the names or what actually happens during these pyramids, but they love to watch them. As far as game day preparations, pyramids are ready for Hancock Stadium.