WEAU | Eau Claire, Wisconsin | Sports

ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: UW-Green Bay male cheerleaders

By: Jenn Chapman Email
By: Jenn Chapman Email

"Just kind of one of those small town things and we're a small town team, loving every minute of it," says UW_Green Bay cheerleader, Caleb Schmidt.

The Packers organization stands out in the NFL, not just because of their Super Bowl rings, but many fans are the owners, the popular attire is a cheesehead, and the sidelines sport college cheerleaders.

"It was 22 years ago actually when the Packers contacted me," says UW-Green Bay cheerleading coach, Ann Rodrian. "They wanted to bring back cheerleaders but they wanted to go in a different direction than the other NFL teams. They wanted a more collegiate atmosphere at the games, so they asked us, and of course we said Yes!"

"I think we're on a different level," adds Schmidt. "We're cheerleaders, we're stunters, we throw girls in the air, instead of just moving to music."

UW- Green Bay and St. Norbert's cheerleaders are at every home game, but it's the added element of the male cheerleaders that sets this group apart.

"I absolutely love having the guys," says Rodrian. "We're able to do a lot more, I think be more showy in some ways. "

"Oh yea, I wouldn't wish for anything else besides doing this. It's so fun, it's just a wish come true," says cheerleader Vaughn Waite.

"The atmosphere is really second to none, it's just incredible," adds cheerleader Alec Schwinefus. "Running out of high school football games is nothing compared to this."

You may not see this group on TV that often or across the pages of a calendar, but they're bringing smiles to their hometown team.

"We just get so many compliments," says Rodrian, "and even the out of town people that come, they just say how refreshing it is to see nice, wholesome young people cheering instead of the other product."

As for the boys, they're not too worried about criticism...they have a front row seat at Lambeau.

"I mean you're throwing people around, you get to come on Lambeau, run flags, so you just gotta block out the stereotypes and just do what you gotta do," says Waite.

"I guess there's always gonna be your haters, but I get to hang around the pretty girls and go to home Packers games, so they can hate all they want," adds Schmidt.


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