Alicia White, elementary education sophomore, and Alissa Sheppard, communication junior, stand on the baseline during the Friends University women's basketball game, Jan. 28 in Stewart Fieldhouse.  With Barbra White as the new head coach, the squad is going to start making some changes.  One change includes participating in community service projects such as chaperoning a middle school dance and finding ways to help with the Haitian relief.  With the addition of two male cheerleaders their squad total is brough to 11 members verses the eight members for last semester.  The next time to watch the cheerleaders in action will be Saturday at 5 p.m. during the women's basketball game and then at 7 p.m. during the men's basketball game in Stewart Fieldhouse.  Cameron Siefkes / Collegian Photographer

Alicia White, elementary education sophomore, and Alissa Sheppard, communication junior, stand on the baseline during the Friends University women's basketball game, Jan. 28 in Stewart Fieldhouse. With Barbra White as the new head coach, the squad is going to start making some changes. One change includes participating in community service projects such as chaperoning a middle school dance and finding ways to help with the Haitian relief. With the addition of two male cheerleaders their squad total is brough to 11 members verses the eight members for last semester. The next time to watch the cheerleaders in action will be Saturday at 5 p.m. during the women's basketball game and then at 7 p.m. during the men's basketball game in Stewart Fieldhouse. Cameron Siefkes / Collegian Photographer

Sitting six on the sixth row of bleachers is not where you would expect to find her. She leads from afar and trusts her team to make decisions when it is time to perform.

Barbara White, cheerleading coach, is leading the cheerleading squad in a positive direction. “My style of coaching is very encouraging and helps team building. I hope I have brought positivity and acceptance and encouraged them to have a lot of input,” said White.

The cheerleading squad has been through many changes since its origination and now they are beginning to feel stable. The team is eight women and three men strong and the members attribute that fact to their new coach.

White has been a cheerleading coach at Wellington High School for several years. White said that the transition from high school to college has been different, but exciting. “The girls are more mature and we are allowed to do more stunts so it is a nice challenge,” said White.

She feels the team has transitioned smoothly between coaches. White said, “They’ve been very positive and open so it’s been very nice and a great experience for me. They are a great group and willing to try new things.”

The squad feels strongly about the new direction in which White has led them. Ashlie Edwards, junior, said, “I call her superwoman. She has helped improve the squad with all her recruiting, time and energy.”

Recruiting is a new process for White, but she hopes it will help expand the team’s opportunities. “I want to increase the size of the squad so that we can increase the amount of our cheers and stunts,” said White. “I would like to broaden the cheering to other events like soccer.”

This is an aspect of her coaching which her daughter, Alicia White, elementary education sophomore, appreciates. “She has definitely done a lot more recruiting and she has set up more tryouts during the year instead of just one, which gives more people an opportunity to join,” she said.

White is also trying to get the team involved in community service and other events to help others. The squad will be chaperoning a middle school dance. They are also thinking of ways in which they can contribute to the Haitian relief.

Now with a sturdy foundation the team is looking toward the future. As a veteran of the team, Alissa Sheppard, communication? junior, has a simple goal. Sheppard said, “As a captain and a person who has been here the longest I just want to continue to see the cheer program grow and continue to see people who have the same passion as I do keep the school spirit going at games.”