In a contemporary society that often breeds young girls into cheering as early as elementary school, Kate Ferrante was able to thrive at cheerleading, despite playing the sport for the first time as a freshman at Revere High School. The former Patriot is now reaping the benefits as a talented cheerleader at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Kate cheered on the UMass Minuteman in football and basketball as a freshman. But before she even began to embolden the Minuteman or even attend her first class at the university, she attended a summer camp as a member of the cheerleading squad.
Not only did Kate get to meet new teammates and friends at the camp, she also was able help her team shine in the national spotlight, as their summer performance helped the UMass cheerleading squad advance to the College National Championship in Daytona Beach, Fla this past spring. The UMass cheerleading team was able to outperform their competitors last summer in the Atlantic 10, including competitive foes such as Temple, LaSalle and St. Joseph’s, to get the national bid. Before college had even started for Kate, she was part of UMass cheerleading history.
“The summer camp I attended with the team before moving into school was one of my favorite moments”, Kate expressed. “Although I was nervous at first, it was there that I realized how exciting and different it is to cheer for a college team.”
Despite starting her cheering journey as a freshman in high school, Kate emerged as a cheerleader for one of the best college squads in the entire country. She perfected her cheerleading prowess, honing in on her flexibility, coordination and strength skills that are necessary to compete at an elite cheering university.
“At first I was worried about joining a Division I team and didn’t know if it was going to be too much with my academics, but I quickly realized it was the right choice”, Kate explained. “I have already made friendships and memories that will last forever.”
Kate relished in the opportunity to cheer on the Minuteman football team, despite their struggles. UMass played their first season as a Division I program as a member of the Mid-American Conference last year. UMass endured a difficult inaugural season in the conference, losing seven of their eight MAC games in the 2012 season, finishing with a pitiful 1-11 overall record. Nonetheless, Kate shined an optimistic viewpoint on a challenging season for the Minuteman.
“Being the first year as Division I program, the football team was not expecting to win many games. The combination of the two-hour drive from Amherst to Foxboro and their losses led to a smaller fan base, but I still enjoyed every second of it.”
Kate embraced cheering on the UMass Minuteman at Gillette Stadium, the home of the New England Patriots.
“Having little kids look up to you and ask for picture with them and cheering on the same home field as the Patriots was thrilling,” Kate articulated.
Kate also apprized rooting for the men’s basketball team in their home court at the Mullins Center. The Minuteman finished the 2012 season at 21-12, including an impressive 9-7 record in the Atlantic-10, one of the strongest conferences in college hoops. UMass fell just shy of an NCAA Tournament appearance, but the ever so sanguine Kate conveyed all the thrilling moments rooting for the Minuteman.
“Although the team just missed the NCAA, they still competed in the ACC and NIT Tournaments,” Kate explained. “We were able to travel with them to the Barclay Center in Brooklyn for the ACC Tournament, which was a great experience.”
Kate reveled in the prospect of traveling with the men’s basketball to their tournament games this past season. UMass is one of the favorites to win the Atlantic-10 for the 2013-2014 season as the Minuteman will look to advance to their first NCAA Tournament since 1998.
Through her assiduousness at cheering, she will have the chance to potentially cheer on a basketball squad that plays in March Madness, a dream come true for any cheerleader like Kate, that truly loves rooting on her college team.
Kate, a proven galvanized cheerleader, is eager to prepare for the upcoming season.
“I am already looking forward to the upcoming NCAA camp at Boston University this summer with the team in July to work towards a gold bid to Nationals this spring.”