Ball State spirit squads play an important role in the tradition of homecoming
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article stated that Code Red would be closing Air Jam with Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Code Red will be performing solo at Air Jam and will not be paired with any other group.
Always standing, never sitting. Always cheering, never silent.
Whether the Cardinals are winning or losing, the Ball State cheerleading team and Code Red dance team are always on the sidelines dawning the red and white, cheering on their Cardinals to a victory.
In this week celebrating Ball State in its past, present and future, Ball State spirit squads are set on spreading Cardinal pride all over campus. Head cheerleading coach Wendy Richards said the team will be present at every homecoming event this week.
“We’re starting off the week by going to the food truck event to mix and mingle with anyone that goes,” Richards said. “Later in the week we go to Air Jam to hand out t-shirts to get people pumped up and is just a huge night in general. Saturday, we ride the fire truck in the parade and go to the game right after that.”
Alongside cheer, Code Red is expecting to be at all the homecoming festivities as well as closing out Air Jam. At Saturday’s game, Code Red is performing a new dance with a throwback twist to it.
“We have a really exciting performance at the upcoming game,” Code Red head coach Olivia McGarvey said. “Charlie Cardinal is going to be a surprise guest, so we’ve been practicing with him a lot. We’re going to be dancing to a throwback song, it’s an awesome theme and the girls are really excited to showcase this off.”
Along with its performances at Air Jam and the football game, Code Red will be interacting with various groups all over campus including Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Sophomore Code Red dancer Kayleigh Cramer said she’s really excited to get involved with various groups all over campus.
“It’s really cool to get out and interact with other groups,” Cramer said. “It’s cool to see the basketball games, but it’s to hangout with other groups such as SAE. I like the aspect that we get to interact with other groups that aren’t just athletics.”
In interacting with various groups on campus, both squads are looking to boost spirit all throughout campus this entire week. From asking students why they're wearing other schools merchandise during the week to making the student population aware of various homecoming events.
“Our main plan is just to keep people excited and informed that it is homecoming week,” senior cheerleader Katie Pelley said. “We want to make them aware of events like bed races, air jam and the game on Saturday.”
With homecoming entering its 92nd year, Ball State’s spirit squads believe that they have played an important role in the history and celebration of homecoming. Since her time with the team, McGarvey said Code Red has become even more involved in the celebration.
“Code Red has is definitely more well known now then when I was on campus,” McGarvey said. “People recognize the girls on campus and know who they are. The involvement with the university allows us to be more represented on campus.”
As for cheerleading, the team believes that they play a major role in the treasured tradition of homecoming at Ball State.
“Back in the days when I was here we did all the parades and all the events,” Richards said. “We added our involvement in the bed races in the last four years and it’s fun for them to be apart of that. They’re a visual of athletics to a certain point and it’s great for them to be involved as much as possible.”