Jan 12, 2013 9:21 PM by Beth Beechie
For the first time, cheerleaders at Great Falls Central Catholic High School got some one-on-one time with their counterparts from Kansas State University on Saturday.
"It's a lot easier to have somebody there and hands-on experience," Central Catholic captain Maria Bertha said. "They know exactly what we're doing wrong. Whereas a video or something like that, you can see what they're doing, but you don't necessarily see what you're doing wrong."
She said cheer wasn't exactly the sport her parents had in mind for her, so it took some courage to stick with it.
And KSU cheerleader Molly Maxwell remembers the courage it took her to cheer in front of smaller crowds like the Mustangs do.
"Even a crowd of 50,000 is easier to cheer for than 200," Maxwell said.
K-State hit the road after the Fiesta Bowl and is visiting areas around Montana and Wyoming to help grow the sport and help cheerleaders grow as athletes.
"I think we're gong to walk away with more confidence as a team and as an individual," said Central Catholic cheerleadre Krystyn Blackbird.
And as these girls look ahead to their first state competition in March, they feel like they've got an upper hand with the Wildcats of KSU choreographing a routine specifically for them.
"Absolutely we've got an ace up our sleeve," Bertha added.
And as they learn through mistakes and careful instruction, K-State walks away feeling like they've truly helped a team improve.
"It's so nice to work with just one team for a couple days because you see them grow so much. And this team has so much potential - very hard workers. So it's a lot of fun to work with them," Maxwell said.
Great Falls Central's coach Jamie Stevens said she took a trip to Kansas earlier this fall and is working to improve her coaching skills to help bring her girls to the next level after the Wildcats leave this weekend.
The Kansas State cheerleading team has been to Great Falls several times over the last nine years to conduct similar camps for larger groups.