Showboats cheerleaders finishing preps for opening of season

Published: Apr. 11, 2023 at 6:42 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Showboats are making their historic return to Memphis this Saturday, and while players are preparing for the big debut, so are the Showboat cheerleaders.

“There’s a lot of pressure because you know everybody wants to see the football team, but the cheerleaders are a huge part of it, so is the hype squad and the mascot so we have to be fully prepared,” Showboats cheer coach Carol Lloyd Cross said.

Coach Carol Lloyd Cross is no stranger to the dance industry in Memphis.

“I’m originally from Memphis and I grew up being a cheerleader and dancing, " Cross said. “And then once I graduated high school, I danced at the University of Memphis for four years and I’ve just stayed involved ever since.”

Cross is currently the coach for the Memphis Showboats cheer team. The team is composed of 22 girls from all over with some from Memphis.

All are excited to be a part of the comeback season.

“I’m honored to be on the team for the first year back with the Showboats,” Leighton Sanders said. “I think everyone is really excited to have this team back so I’m super pumped to get to be a part of it.”

“Just to be a part of history,” Rachel Chambers said. “You know bringing it back to Memphis, I feel like it’s going to be pretty cool.”

“I’m looking forward to being able to continue doing what I love and to engage with fans on game day,” Brittany Austin said.

“I’m super excited,” Becka Matthews said. “I think my family is making me more excited because my parents, aunts and uncles, they used to be Showboat fans back in the day. Everyone’s ready for the comeback.”

With gameday right around the corner, there’s a lot to do in a short amount of time.

“I don’t think people realize how calculated it is to pump up the crowd,” Matthews added. “Everything is really well thought through and takes a lot of planning and I think that people don’t really know how many hours and weeks go into planning a special experience for fans.

Now, fans will soon have halftime and pregame shows to see their Showboat Cheerleaders.

“It’s our job now to show them that they have to come out next year and do it,” Cross said. “That they missed out.”

The Showboats’ opening game this season is Saturday, April 15 against the Philadelphia Stars at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium.

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