By Javonni Hampton
Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) cheerleading team secured third place at the National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) College Nationals. This is the second consecutive year the team has participated in the competition and achieved a top-three ranking.
Head Cheerleading Coach Brandi Tatum credited the team’s hard work.
“These young ladies put in the work, dedication, and commitment to represent FAMU nationally, and it showed in their performance. I am truly proud of them, and I know next year will be even better,” said Tatum, assistant vice president of the Division of University Advancement, who has been with FAMU Cheer for 18 years. “Representing Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and FAMU on a national platform is an honor. It allows the team to demonstrate the hard work, dedication, and talent of the school and the team. FAMU has a rich history and legacy, which only adds to the significance of the team’s achievement.”
This year’s NCA College Nationals included more than a dozen HBCUs, making it a very competitive tournament.
“Our first year going we really didn’t know what to expect, this year we were more prepared. One thing we weren’t prepared for was the increase in talent and the number of teams across the board,” said Assistant Coach Ria Floyd.
In preparation for the competition, the team hired an NCA instructor to choreograph its routine. The team practiced at least five days a week, with the month of March and the beginning of April seeing practices starting as early as 5:30 a.m. instead of the evenings. The team’s dedication to their training regimen paid off.
“Next year, we will be even more prepared,” Floyd said. “It’s a learning experience every year, and that’s what helps increase the excitement of the NCA College Nationals Competition going.”
Team members are:
Alicia Goode, Aniyah Nelson, Ashlyn Boles
Asia Ussery, Cherish Glenn, Cydnie Taylor
Gabriella Ekechi, Hope Matthews, Janiah Washington
Kloe Bohler, Mai Graves, Naliah Clarington
Nausicaa Imuzai, Nia Rankin,Nyla Jones
Rachel Drakeford, Rebecca Dawson, Sierra Ross
Stacia Gardner, Tamira Moore, Tiffany Glymph, Kyla Rogers