ORLANDO, Fla. — After two years of pumping up North Country football fans, members of the North Stars Cheerleading Team will cheer at the nationally broadcast Capital One Bowl on New Year's Day.
Coach Taylor Wright, 23, Assistant Coach James Kelly, 23, Team Capt. Susie Chrisman, 21, and team members DeCotta Bapp, 19, and Sasha Marsh, 23, traveled to Orlando last weekend to meet up with members of roughly 20 other cheer teams from across the United States.
They worked together to practice and synchronize a routine that will be performed during the opening ceremonies of the college football game that pits the University of Wisconsin against the University of South Carolina, set for 1 p.m. on ABC.
According to the Nielsen ratings company, approximately 11 million people tuned in to watch the 2013 Capital One Bowl.
“It’s hitting us more now that we’re actually here in Florida than it was getting ready for it,” Marsh said in a phone interview.
Yet the journey to the Capital One Bowl did not begin in Florida, but on the shores of Brant Lake, where members of the team spent three days last August at a Universal Cheerleaders Association cheer camp.
The North Stars members had the chance to bond with 14 other cheerleading teams and take part in a series of competitions testing their cheer skills. The North Stars took first place in the dancing, cheering and stunt categories, but Wright said the team members were still surprised when they won the final camp championship event that combined all the previous skills into one routine.
“You have to perform it in front of the whole camp and a selection of Universal Cheerleading Association judges,” Wright said.
The victory secured the North Star’s position at the Pro Bowl and drew the attention of American Cheerleader Magazine.
An editor reached out to Wright for photos and team information and said the team will be featured in the publication’s next national issue.