LUBBOCK, TX - As the Texas Tech Red Raiders prepare for the Arizona State Sundevils to come to Jones AT&T Stadium they are not the only ones putting in long hours before the game. The Texas Tech Pom Squad has been hard at work too.
The 2017 National Champion Pom Squad spends months of preparation before taking the field inside Jones AT&T Stadium on Saturdays. The dancers are treated like student athletes. The only difference is their season does not end.
"We are expected to not only perform well in practice, but we are expected to have good grades and be a well rounded student in the classroom," Pom Squad Senior, Shannon Rockwell said.
The dancers are also seen as ambassadors for the university. They make about 250 appearances a year on behalf of the university. Head coach, Erin Alvarado went on to say, "That is why we hold them to high standards in the classroom too because we feel that not only are you an ambassador in the community; you're an ambassador among the student body," Alvarado said.
The expectations for the dancers is high and coming off a national championship win, the dancers say they love the thrill of dancing on game day in the Jones.
"The atmosphere, the crowd and just the teams energy every single time we take the field is just completely outstanding and extraordinary," Sophomore, Jordyn Groover said.
"Your heart is kind of pumping and you're excited," Shannon Rockwell said. "You are just ready to get out on the field and show what we've been working on."
The team works extremely hard to be successful on the field and in the classroom, and the bond they share is like no other.
"I know how hard they work in practice, but the general public does not see how hard they work," Alvarado said. "They don't see them get up at 5:30 a.m. to go to workouts. They do not see them sitting in the front of the class and going to practice until 9 p.m. and then going home and studying some more only to get up and go again the next day."
The Red Raiders take on Arizona State University at the Jones on Saturday at 7 p.m.
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