Freshman Nicole Rosato recently got the chance to perform with more than 200 cheerleaders in a college football game half-time show.
After a call from her former employer at Seals Gymnastics in Brownwood, Rosato learned she had the opportunity to attend and be a leader at the Texas vs. The Nation game in El Paso Feb. 4.
The event is for top senior college football players from Texas or who play in Texas. They make up one team and the opposing team is then made up of the top players from other states. She admits she knew little about the event.
“At first I didn’t know about it at all. It is only like a 4-year-old game, so it’s pretty new,” she said.
After learning more, her anticipation grew.
“Once I found out more about it, though, I was excited, and I felt honored to be a part of it, but I felt bad about missing basketball games,” Rosato said.
As a leader, Rosato was in charge of teaching 30 to 40 cheerleaders in high school and middle school the routine for the half time show. She wasn’t aware at first that she would also perform, not only with the younger cheerleaders, but with Kansas, Kentucky, University of Texas El Paso and Texas Tech cheerleaders.
She thinks the event was not only a job, but an occasion to grow in something that she is devoted to.
“It was … a different experience for me. I got paid to do something I love doing,” she said.
Rosato says a memorable part of the weekend was crossing the border into Juarez.
“I’ve never been to El Paso and whenever we practiced, we crossed the border into Mexico to go to a high school there. That was an experience,” she said.
Cheerleading sponsor Farrah Dunawaysaid it was an honor for Rosato to participate, but admits she was hesitant at first because it meant she would miss two game days.
“The team has to re-work all stunts and pyramids so that all members are used in the best position while performing …. Everyone else certainly has to go the extra mile to cover for a missing teammate.”
Dunaway said this event was something special.
“At our level, cheerleaders rarely get the opportunity, like other sports, to interact with other teams.”
She thinks it was a wonderful experience for Rosato “to have the chance to collaborate with other collegiate cheerleaders from around the nation. It seems to help validate working as hard at what they do for eight months out of the year,” Dunaway said.
Natalie Rosato, Nicole’s sister and a sophomore at Baylor University, was excited for her sister. Her enthusiasm grew when Nicole told her she was invited to go also.
“Little did I know … the producers asked for both of us to lead. That
made me all the more excited to be able for us to experience this together,” Natalie said.
She feels lucky to have had a weekend with Nicole away from her hectic schedule.
“Growing up we have always participated in sports and different events together, but now that we are in at different colleges, it’s hard to have that
experience. But this opportunity made that happen once again, and it was a blast making more memories,” she said.
Natalie believes this kind of opportunity is rare and will cherish the event.
She said, “This experience was truly one in a million, and I am so blessed to have been able to share it with my sister.”