Tech Pom Has Something To Cheer About

After 35 years of being student led, the Tech Pom Squad finally has something to cheer about.  According to LaShey Lanford the pom squad’s new coach has helped them receive third place at nationals, the highest recognition they have ever received.

Landford, senior and member of Tech Pom Squad said during her time on pom the highest the team ranked was 10th, and 13th place at nationals. Now, Lanford said, thanks to their new head coach, Erin Harold, the team achieved a record they had never accomplished before: third place.

“We’ve never had a full-time coach within our program for 35 years,” Lanford said. “The year before I made it there was a part-time coach. When I made it we were student led and the seniors every year were fighting for the program and begging our supervisors that we needed a coach.”

She said the team, which consists of 16 girls, has always known that with a head coach the team could accomplish so much more than simply performing on games days.

But, Lanford said, she prefers dancing for game days rather than for competition like nationals.  She said the best part of gaining the recognition of third place at nationals was that she and her squad got to bring the trophy back to Tech.

“It’s literally the school that I’m in love with,” Lanford said. “I know us doing that well is going to make our program better in the future.”

Lanford said Harold has already talked about bringing in a ballet teacher for the girls on the team next year. Lanford said Tech Pom lost points for their lack of technique, and in order for them to improve it, a ballet teacher will help improve that area of scoring.

She said when it comes to coaching, Harold is the perfect mix of tough and understanding. Lanford said Harold dedicates 100 percent of herself to the pom squad and would do anything for the team.

“She’s intense. She’s probably the toughest coach I’ve ever had, but she pushed me,” Lanford said. “I wish I would have had her longer because I’ve improved over this year.”

To add to the intensity, Lanford said  the team had been practicing for nationals since October. And on top of it all, she said a typical pom squad practice can last from two and a half hours to four and a half hours.

With Lanford being a senior, she said she is going to miss pom squad so much. She said one thing she’ll miss in particularly will be walking out onto the football field on game days.

“That first initial walk where we link arms and walk out of the tunnel,” she said. “It’s awesome to look into the crowd and think that we’re all here for the same reason – because we love Tech.”

Lanford said after graduation she is moving back home to Allen, Texas, where she is looking for a teaching job and is also trying out to be a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader.

With this being her last year, Lanford said that if she could give any advice to next year’s pom squad it would be to not take any moment for granted.  She said people should take the time to stop and let the experience of it all sink in.

“I know everyone gets tired with school and stresses out, but don’t rush through it,” she said. “It goes by so fast. College in general goes by so fast. The more involved you are, the faster it goes.”

About Lauren Estlinbaum

Entertainment Director    —    Journalism major, Class of 2014
Lauren Estlinbaum grew up in Pearland, Texas, south of Houston (go Texans). She is a journalism major with a minor in apparel design. Lauren would like to work for either a fashion or lifestyle publication post-graduation. As she likes to say, she considers fashion magazines survival guides.

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