Topic: Athletics

October 3, 2008

Four Ball State University students are entering fall semester balancing their studies with the demands of NFL cheerleaders.

Sophomore Breanna Fonner, junior Lauren Greene, senior Larissa Stanfield and senior Jessica Melendez are balancing their schoolwork with traveling to Indianapolis for practices, games and appearances at community events throughout Indiana as cheerleaders for the Indianapolis Colts.

"I'm still trying to grasp how to manage it down to the hour," said Greene, a junior marketing major.

In addition to classes, the students drive to Indianapolis for three-hour practices, twice each week. On game days, they are required to be at Lucas Oil Stadium six hours prior to kickoff. Each cheerleader is also required to make a minimum of 15 appearances in the community. Colts cheerleaders appear at festivals, high school football games, business events and various other functions throughout Indiana.

"Being in the public eye, you have to be careful of the way you carry yourself," said Fonner, a sophomore human resource management major. "I love being a role model for others; it is who I am."

In balancing class with studying, student organizations, practices, games and appearances, there is not much time for a social life, the students say.

"The only drawback is that there is no point where I can just relax," Greene said. "But regardless, I've had the time of my life, and it is definitely worth it."

By Ashley Keebler