Every school has them… traditions! The easy part is starting them, but you as spirit-leaders must be willing to put the effort in to keep them around. Many schools have started and maintained traditions for several years. It's not too late to start some traditions of your own; here are some examples of great school traditions from real schools:
University of Delaware
Fightin’ Blue Hens!
Tradition: Ringing the Victory Bell after each score. The bell has a long and proud history at the U of D for well over 100 years. This fall marks the 50th year that the Victory Bell has been who rung after a score in Delaware Stadium!
University of Arkansas
Tradition: Before each pep rally, game, appearance, or even a press conference for a new member of our athletic department, the cheerleaders "call the hogs". The male captain or the mic man will say, “Alright all you Razorback fans, let’s stand up and call those Hogs!" At a football game, the crowd of 72,000+ will stand and join in with the spirit groups with “Wooo Pig Sooie” three times. On the third time the crowd says “Wooo Pig Sooie, Razorbacks”, then the band will kick in with the fight song and the entire crowd joins in and sings all the words.
Union High School
Tradition: A 20ft. smoking tee-pee is placed in the end zone prior to every football game. The cheerleaders hold hands while standing in place down the 20 yard line. As the team runs through the tee-pee, the cheerleaders lead them down the field. Once they reach the 50 yard line, the cheerleaders let go of hands and finish by tumbling down to the other end zone.
Tradition: During basketball season, a group of boys from the student body go to the varsity games and all wear plain white t-shirts that say “X-factor” really big in black ink. Every time one of our players makes a shot, one of them will count to 3 and they all yell “X” and make an “x” with their arms.
Clemson, South Carolina
Tradition: Before kickoff, the cheerleaders take their place at the bottom of the hill and start waving a huge “Fighting Tigers” flag as the football team takes their place at the top of the hill. Once the cannon sounds, the cheerleaders run the flag to the other side of the field, as the football team rubs Howard’s Rock and runs down the hill to the sideline. This is also the first time the crowd spells out C-L-E-M-S-O….N, and it is deafening! This tradition has been called the "most exciting 25 seconds in college football".
Richard King High School
Corpus Christi, Texas
Tradition: Before and during the kickoff, the cheerleaders make horseshoes with their hands (thumb and pinkie fingers up while the other 3 are rolled down) and yell, “Go, Go, Go KING Go” over and over until the kickoff is over. While they are yelling, their arms are in a touchdown, and they bend them back and up on each word. The cheerleaders also build elevators/extensions/libs/chairs during this time and top girls do the motions with their arms and hands.
University of South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina
Tradition: Before each football game, the cheerleaders lead the crowd in a big "GAME!! COCKS!!" cheer and as soon "2001 Spacy Odyssey" starts playing, a big black box in the middle of the field explodes with a cloud of smoke, and suddenly the mascot, Cocky, appears. The crowd goes wild every time!
Calallen High School
Corpus Christi, Texas
Tradition: During the playoffs, the members of the Varsity cheerleading squad go to the end zone after every touchdown and line up. They start at one end of the line, and a girl does a standing tuck for each point scored. The first touchdown is easy-seven girls line up and each does one standing tuck as the crowd counts. As more points are scored, more girls are added, and they do standing tucks for the total amount of points on the board at that time. For example, if the team has just scored their third touchdown, the cheerleaders do 21 standing backs as the crowd counts out each one. The girls get tired, but they (and the crowd) love it!
Florida State University
Tradition: In the early 80s, the Florida State University band, the Marching Chiefs, began the now-famous arm motion while singing the war chant. This chopping motion, a repetitious bend at the elbow of the right hand, became known as the “tomahawk chop,” to symbolize a tomahawk swinging down. The war chant and tomahawk chop are a part of every game of every sport at FSU, and it can really wear your arm out!
Winamac High School
Tradition: After every home victory during football season, the players come over to the crowd and sing their school song, and the cheerleaders sing along with them. Then the football players go over and ring the victory bell in memory of their head football coach’s son.
University of Kansas
Tradition: At the University of Kansas, before every game, the traditional Rock Chalk Chant is performed following the school’s alma mater. Created in 1886, and called the “greatest college chant” by Teddy Roosevelt, the haunting and slow chant is bound to send goose bumps down your spine. As it speeds up the chant excites the crowd for game time! When the game is believed to be safely won, the crowd begins the chant again to signify a Jayhawk victory.
Stark County High School
Tradition: During football season, the cheerleaders do a kick line every time we get a touchdown. The first girl kicks, and it continues down the line. The cheerleaders do a kick for every point.
Tradition: The cheerleaders started a new tradition at their basketball games this year. When someone is going for a free throw, everyone puts their hands up in a high “V”. If they make it, they bring our hands down fast and say “Woosh RCS”. The crowd was quick to join in, and the basketball players love it.
University of Alabama
Tradition: At the University of Alabama, the cheerleaders lead the crowd in singing “Rammer Jammer” after a victory. Not only does this chant signify a win, but it’s also one that the entire crowd stands up and sings along with.100,000 fans in Bryant Denny Stadium singing "Rammer Jammer" and yelling "Roll Tide" is enough to give anyone goose bumps!
West Stokes High School
King, North Carolina
Tradition: Since their high school is new, it was up to the cheerleaders to create their own traditions. After the football team scores a touchdown, the cheerleaders do pushups for the number of points on the score board. When their team scores, makes a good play, or intercepts the ball the band plays the fight song while the cheerleaders do their fight song dance. They also throw out candy footballs and peanuts (Go Nuts for the Cats!) during low or boring parts of the game to get the crowd excited. In basketball, when they announce the teams or starting lineup the cheerleaders get in a semi-circle and do a back handspring or jump when they call out each player’s name.
It's never too late to create your own traditions! Sit down with your teammates and decide what you would like to do enhance the game day atmosphere. Make sure you get clearance from your coach and administration, and enjoy creating traditions that have the potential to carry over for years!