Many students at California Baptist University do not know that the cheer program has two distinct teams — a blue team and gold team — that support and uplift each other through competitions and performances.
In a typical season, blue team represents CBU by competing at local and national competitions, whereas gold team performs at CBU games and events. Blue supports gold by watching them cheer at games and gold supports blue by either going to their competitions or watching the competitions online.
The program was split during the 2010-2011 season because the cheer program was spread too thin trying to meet all of its responsibilities as a team: on-campus events, men’s and women’s basketball games, volleyball games, competitions and off-campus appearances.
Head cheer coach Olivia Miller stressed the importance of bonding blue and gold.
“It is important for us to unify the teams because we represent one cheer program that shares a common history,” Miller said. “It helps the athletes to know that there is another team supporting them in whatever they do. We still compete together in the summer, we perform together at Fortuna Bowl and Midnight Madness and we put on our end-of-the-year showcase together.”
Blue and gold bond by going to a summer camp at the beginning of their season, where the team participates in longstanding traditions. The teams show support for one another through mentoring. Veterans on the team mentor new members on the team by being a “big.” The “bigs” support their “littles” by checking in on them throughout the semester.
Ashley Brown, junior marketing major, said she believes the big and little mentoring majorly impacted her experience with the cheer program.
“My first year my big was a huge mentor for me and she gave me guidance and advice for anything I needed,” Brown said. “I also make sure that I give my littles advice and guidance for anything. I still talk to (my big) on a regular basis because we are so close. If I didn’t have my big, there would have been times I would’ve been super confused about things that were happening in the program.”
Brown has two littles, one on blue and one on gold. Olivia Engebretson, sophomore public relations major, is Brown’s little on gold and said she found her mentorship helpful.
“I was really nervous coming in my freshman year,” Engebretson said. “I felt like I had someone who could answer all of my questions and someone who cared for me at all times.”
The blue and gold teams demonstrate CBU’s inclusive community environment. The cheer teams strive to support each other, whether it be at a competition, a basketball game or at home.