Sam Alexander original one of many high varsity careers within the historical past of Gateway boys soccer as a lockdown goalkeeper who earned quite a few all-star honors for his play.
His athletic endeavors proceed at Penn State however in a barely completely different route.
Final month, Alexander, a freshman on the College Park campus, turned one of many latest members of the Nittany Lions cheer squad that may lend its help and faculty spirit to various Penn State athletic squads.
“For some time, I believed I used to be going to play soccer in school, and there was no consideration in my head that I might take the trail to be a male cheerleader,” mentioned Alexander, who attended various Penn State sporting occasions rising up and was readily available for all however one of many soccer video games at Beaver Stadium this previous fall.
“I don’t even assume, prior to now, that I had paid an excessive amount of consideration to the male cheerleaders or the entire crew on the whole. However it’s positively one thing actually cool, and I’m very comfortable to be part of it.”
The tryouts had been the primary week of April, and he waited a short while earlier than the choices had been made.
Alexander mentioned all earlier members of the crew tried out once more together with Alexander and a couple of half dozen different newcomers.
He and three others are new members of the squad which totals 16 males and 13 females.
“There was a bit stress attempting out with the fellows who’ve been there earlier than,” Alexander mentioned.
“They got here in assured with the stunts I had simply realized a few weeks beforehand. I had excessive hopes to make the crew, but when I didn’t, at the very least I gave it a shot. I used to be nervous earlier than, however once I was within the second and doing what I wanted to do, I didn’t mess up. I felt very completed.”
Alexander was launched to the cheer crew by friendships made since his arrival at Penn State.
“I talked about being an athlete in highschool and being a comparatively robust particular person,” he mentioned.
“A few people who find themselves already on the crew instructed that I give it a shot and check out.”
Alexander went to the open gyms and practices to realize a stage of consolation main as much as the tryouts.
“I favored to carry weights as it’s, so it wasn’t essentially power that I used to be coaching,” he mentioned.
“A variety of the work was within the cheer method. They walked us by the method for about six practices, and it was so helpful to see how they really do the stunts. They stored giving little ideas and whatnot to get me nearer and nearer to the place I wanted to be. Ultimately, I labored my manner as much as with the ability to do it. It was quite a bit tougher than I anticipated it to be. It’s a number of lifting the opposite cheerleaders up from completely different positions and searching good doing so.”
A proud father, Paul Alexander, a Penn State graduate and sports activities media character in State School and Pittsburgh for greater than three many years, posted an announcement to Fb shortly after the groups had been finalized.
“So pleased with Sam who made the PSU Cheerleading squad. We Are…..,” the elder Alexander mentioned.
Sam Alexander had sought out the potential of taking part in soccer in school and had drawn consideration from various Division II and III faculties. He additionally had various most popular walk-on spots in some Division I applications.
However not one of the faculties, he mentioned, made a mark to him like Penn State did, and he determined to settle in as a pupil there versus a student-athlete anyplace else.
Alexander did make the boys’s membership soccer crew, however he mentioned he determined towards going ahead with it due to the sizeable time commitments.
“It was good popping out of the (soccer) tryouts realizing that I nonetheless had some expertise,” he mentioned.
Ultimately, Alexander is a student-athlete at Penn State.
“My dad and mom performed a giant function in me coming to Penn State, and there additionally is that this nice sense of group,” Alexander mentioned. “It’s such an important environment for rising and studying. Sports activities is a bonus, and I’m glad to be part of it.”
The work continues as the most recent incarnation of the Penn State cheer crew gathers and trains to be able to carry out at summer season occasions just like the annual arts pageant.
The soccer season is just 4 months away with the house opener towards Ohio set for Sept. 10.
Penn State opens its season Sept. 1 at Huge Ten foe Purdue.
“That is such an important group of individuals to be part of,” Alexander mentioned.
“I felt that a lot earlier than and through tryouts. The returning individuals made me and the opposite new members so welcomed. I’m excited to see what the longer term holds with the crew.”
Michael Love is a Tribune-Overview workers author. You’ll be able to contact Michael at 724-226-4665, email@example.com or through Twitter .