Growing up in the spotlight has been something of the normal for senior Blake Altman. After performing past years at Stage Right! Performing Arts Center in Greensburg, Pittsburgh CLO Academy in Downtown Pittsburgh, and The Abby Lee Dance Company also in Pittsburgh, Altman decided to try out for the West Virginia University cheer squad. However, this wasn’t always his intended college.
“At the beginning of senior year I visited multiple universities including University of Pittsburgh, Duquesne University, Pennsylvania State University,” said Altman.” Slippery Rock University seemed like the right fit for me at the time.”
After talking things over with family, Altman decided that West Virginia was the right fit for him considering how he loved the campus.
“After discussing college visits and decisions with my mother and grandmother, I made a trip down to West Virginia University to see what it was all about,” said Altman.” I attended a college visit with some good friends, then a second visit with my family.”
Once visiting both times with friends and family, Altman decided West Virginia was the right choice.
“After visiting both times I fell more in love,” said Altman.” West Virginia University is filled with high energy and excitement, and while visiting I knew that WVU is the right place for me.”
While on visits, Altman had the opportunity to meet and make friends with people that had previously been on the squad.
“I love meeting new people and making new friends,” said Altman.”So prior to my cheer tryout I came into contact with some students on the WVU cheer squad and introduced myself. They were very generous and told me how the tryouts go and what to prepare for before trying out.”
In order to prepare for tryouts, Altman also made sure to stay in shape.
“I made sure to stay in shape by lifting and continue to do some running and cardio,” said Altman.
Tryouts took place on August 21 and 22 at the Caperton Indoor Facility in Morgantown, WV.
“Tryouts were amazing overall. I met so many new people, and got the opportunity to show my talents to the coaches,” said Altman.”We had tryouts Saturday and Sunday which consisted of the cheer portion of tryouts and stunts.
When Altman got the news he made the squad he was “beyond excited.”
“I’m one of the four who made it on the Blue team and around 15 males on Gold team,” said Altman.” The blue team cheer for all women’s varsity sports, including two football games. All upcoming freshman are required to start on blue team. Then Gold team cheers for all male varsity sports. After freshman year, members on the squad have the opportunity to tryout for Gold team or stay on blue team the following season.
Practices for the squads will start on June 2 in preparation for upcoming sports seasons.
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