Alaska cheerleading to hold tryouts in April for next season

Photo by Todd Paris
Photo by Todd Paris

Jamie Foland

Head coach Heather Pyland announced that the Alaska cheerleading team will hold  official tryouts to become a member of the Alaska Nanooks cheer squad during the third week of April.

There will be two tryout clinics, held Tuesday, April 16 and Thursday, April 18 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., with the final tryout occurring Saturday, April 20 at 10 a.m. Both clinics and the final tryout will be held at the Patty Center on UAF’s campus. All three sessions are mandatory and will be closed to the public.

To be eligible to try out, one must be a full-time student at the university or an incoming student with an official letter of acceptance. All paperwork must be completed by the first clinic on April 16.

What to wear: Shorts, fitted shirts or sports bra, tennis/aerobic shoes and females should have their hair pulled back in a ponytail or pinned away from their face on both clinic dates. For the final tryout date, candidates are required to wear royal blue, black or gold shorts with a white shirt and females should have hair half up/half down with a bow. All must appear game ready.

What to bring: You must fill out online form prior to tryouts and bring signed waiver form, copy of university ID car or copy of acceptance letter and copy of insurance card. If under 18, one must have a parent or guardian sign the waiver.

Tryout Requirements: Prior cheer experience and tumbling is highly recommended. Tryouts will consist of learning and performing university fight song, dance and a chant. You will also be required to perform jumps, tumbling (if applicable) and stunts. College cheerleading required a huge amount of physical ability. Be prepared to push yourself to the max.

DAY 1: Learn fight song dance and chant. Review jumps and tumbling.

DAY 2: Review material from day one, jumps and tumbling. Work in groups for stunts. While practicing stunts, candidates must work in groups of four, if coed partner stunting, two performing the stunt and two spotting.

Tryout Day: Perform fight song dance, chant, jumps and tumbling in groups of three. Perform stunts with group of your choice (all stunts must be at extended level).

Team Obligations: Required to attend practices on Sundays from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. and Mondays from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. as well as games that will occur from Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays throughout the season. We also sell programs at select Friday hockey games. All members will participate in conditioning and weight training program (required twice a week). Academics and all cheer team activities are top priorities. Please realize time obligations before committing to the team. All team members will be required to attend summer camp and summer practices. Practices and games are mandatory. It is up to you to manage time wisely. Being late/absent is not tolerated and you will be removed from the team immediately.

Physicals: Each new member will have to get a physical done with university paperwork and be cleared within 30 days of making the team. You must pass your physical to be a team member.

Teams: The team will be chosen by the coaching staff. Depending on the number of people trying out and the needs of the team, the coaches have the option to form two separate squads (blue and gold). The competition team can consist of members from both.

Payment: A $30 non-refundable tryout fee will be due by May 6 for those who make the official team roster. Checks can be made to UAF Cheer. Please see Coach Pyland for financial difficulties.

Additional information: Contact Heather Pyland at