Published in the January 25, 2017 issue of The Bells
Despite long hours on a cramped bus, frigid Salem temperatures, and even a bus breaking down, the Black Shirt Cru Spirit Band, the Sader Belles, and the cheerleaders took the 20-hour bus ride to Salem, Virginia to help cheer Cru Football to the National Championship.
The group left Bawcom Student Union for Salem, Virginia at 5:00 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 15.
They were given the opportunity to spend Thursday night at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel before driving the rest of the way to Salem the next morning.
The group even ran into some bus trouble as one of the buses carrying the Sader Belles, cheerleaders, and half the band had to pull over on the side of the road due to engine trouble.
The students transferred to the fan buses for the remaining hour drive.
Upon arriving at Salem Stadium, the band, cheerleaders, and Sader Belles put on a mini CRUise for ESPN, the football players, and the adoring fans.
The band and Sader Belles performed a pre-game show on the field in lieu of a halftime performance.
Sader Belle sophomore nursing major Amelia Enokian believes dancing at the Stagg Bowl is a memory she will treasure forever.
“We were definitely honored that we were able to dance before the game since most schools don’t really take their dance teams,” she said. “I remember exiting the field, and I had smiled so much that my teeth were so dry that I couldn’t stop.”
During the game, the group cheered, played stand tunes and kept the enthusiasm alive as the temperatures steadily dropped.
“I was glad that we could support our team and provide the spirit necessary to lead them to victory,” senior bass drummer Music Education major Ashley Wallace said. “I had a blast getting to hang out with my friends at the Gaylord Hotel, as well as enduring the cold together.”