Meet Hannah Cackowski: U Del Cheerleader!

Name: Hannah Cackowski

Year: Sophomore

Major: Exercise Science

Hometown: Keene, New Hampshire

HC: When did you start cheerleading?

Hannah: I started when I was six years old.

HC: What is your favorite part of being a cheerleader?

Hannah: My favorite part of being a cheerleader is being able to feed off of and respond to the energy of a crowd. When a game is really close or really exciting, there is a special kind of energy that comes from the crowd and as cheerleaders, we have the ability to use that energy to help the team. This is also true when we are competing because we know how to use an energetic crowd to produce a winning routine.

HC: What position are you?

Hannah: I am a top girl/flyer and a tippy top in pyramids.

HC: Did you always want to cheer in college?

Hannah: Actually, no. Up until my junior year, I didn’t plan on cheering in college. In the spring of my junior year I got the chance to meet and work with some collegiate cheerleaders at a stunt clinic and changed my mind.

HC: What is your favorite memory from being a UD cheerleader?

Hannah: My favorite memory is running out of the helmet and doing pregame at my very first football game as a freshman. There is so much heart and tradition at UD and it is an amazing feeling to be a part of it.

HC: What do you wish more people understood about being a collegiate cheerleader?

Hannah: I wish that people understood that being a college cheerleader is so much more than just shaking poms at a football game. We work just as hard as any other athletic team without the recognition. We attend numerous campus events throughout the year, even during our peak competition season and we have no break from practices (even in the summer). We are athletes, spirit raisers and ambassadors for our schools and often people do not realize how much we do.

HC: Did being a cheerleader have any influence on your choice of major?

Hannah: Because I have been involved in cheerleading for so long, I became interested in the scientific part of the sport. I love learning how the body performs and responds to physical activity and that is why I chose my major.

HC: What are some typical responsibilities of UD cheerleaders?

Hannah: As UD cheerleaders we are present at all football, men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball games and we often make appearances at other athletic events. We attend promotional events around campus, including pep rallies and tailgates. We also compete once a year at the UCA Collegiate Cheerleading Nationals. First and foremost, we are students and we must focus on our classes and keep up with our studies. In addition, we need to stay in top physical and mental condition for practice and always support and promote our school in a positive way.

HC: Would you rather cheer for football or basketball?

Hannah: Though both types of games are fun, I prefer to cheer football games. There is something really special about being out on the field under the lights and feeling the unstoppable energy from the team and the crowd.

So, there you have it. While many people think that cheerleading is just another Bring It On movie, it is much more than that. It is a passion, a sport and the reason why spirit is so high at games.