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Saint Mary’s women reflect on participating in Notre Dame Pom Squad

| Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Notre Dame men’s basketball team cinches another victory. The fans are cheering, the student section goes wild and the band belts out a song of success. On and off the court, people wrap their arms around one another and begin to sway in anticipation of singing the alma mater.

This celebratory gathering is tradition, as is having performances by the Notre Dame Pom Squad. Singing the alma mater is one of Saint Mary’s sophomore Claire Holman’s favorite things about being on the Notre Dame Pom Squad, she said.

“We get to stand in front of everyone, and it’s having the whole team behind us and the student section in front of us,” Holman said. “Everyone’s there. The band’s there and cheer’s next to us. It’s a cool feeling, everyone coming together and singing those words. That’s a little part of it, but I love that.”

Though the team is based at Notre Dame, it has members from both Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame. The Pom Squad performs at men’s basketball home games, football pep rallies and other community events, Holman said.

Senior Hannah Hoody said in an email friends and family members encouraged her to try out for the team, and has been a member for three years.

“This opportunity is a privilege since we are a student-run club who is allowed the chance to perform and cheer on the Irish during sporting events,” she said. “It is also an opportunity to continue dancing throughout college. It’s also an amazing opportunity to make new friends and become close with your team members allowing you to form friendships that last forever.”

It is these friendships that make being on the team exciting senior Becca Gunter said. Even though this is Gunter’s first year on the team, she said she has already made lasting friendships through the squad.

“(My favorite thing about the team) is how close all of us are,” Gunter said. “There’s 11 of us, and we’re having practice three or four times a week and dancing at all of the games together. We all are doing what we love, and we’re getting to do it together.”

Holman said it was through another friendship that she heard about the Pom Squad. After hearing about the team, she said she knew it was a team she wanted to be part of.

“I first knew about it from my friend in high school who’s on it,” Holman said. “I was on dance team in high school with her, and I loved it so much. I loved the idea of a team and everything. When I knew they had something like that at Notre Dame that let Saint Mary’s girls be on it, I was like, ‘I need to be on this team.’”

Holman said she has made lasting relationships through the team and encourages anyone who is thinking about trying out this semester to do so.

“It’s seriously one of the best teams I’ve ever been on,” she said. “It is a lot, but practice, going to it, it doesn’t feel like a practice. It feels like all of us hanging out, doing what we love. It’s so fun. I love it so much. Anyone really should try out for it. Poms is the best.”

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