Saechao, Payne To Cheer For OSU Next Year.


Seniors Deleena Saechao and Ryan Payne.

Vy Nguyen , Staff Writer

Seniors Ryan Payne and cheer team captain Deleena Saechao were part the very few incoming freshmen to make the Oregon State University cheer team for next season.  

Saechao has been cheering for four years.  She decided to follow her mother’s footsteps and become a high school cheerleader herself.  She fell in love with the sport instantly and says. her dream since freshmen year was to be a college cheerleader. “I knew I wanted to be a college cheerleader from the beginning,” she said.

 Her sophomore year at state the team placed 5th in the all-girl, large division.  Her junior year they placed 4th at state in the large co-ed division.  That same year, the cheer team also competed at nationals in Anaheim, California placing 10th in the nation.  

Saechao says, “The biggest way that cheer has changed my life is that it made me a really confident person.  Before cheer I was really insecure about myself and about my abilities.”

The Oregon State tryout consisted of two days.  There were a total of about 50 girls trying out, only 27 made it onto day two, with only !5 girls making the team.  Saechao felt very prepared for tryouts.   After competing at state, she spent a lot of time working privately with professional stunters and went to every open clinic they had.  She was one out of the five freshmen girls who made the team. Coincidentally, three out of the five freshmen will graduate from the MHC conference this year.  

Saechao said, “When I found out I made the team, I didn’t really believe it at first because there were other girls who had more skills than me.  But I think when she picked me, it just shows how much potential she saw in me and that was a big surprise. I’m like excited, but I know it’s gonna be so hard.  Like (daily) doubles (practices) are insane.  Now that I’m at college level, I’m definitely going to be pushed to my limits.  I’m excited though,  I want to see how far I can go.  And everyone on the team is so nice and supportive that I think it’s going to be an overall great experience.”

Payne began cheering his junior year and was on varsity both years.  He wanted to tryout for the team after watching a cheerleading competition on tv and thought it looked really fun.  Payne says, “I just thought it was really cool. Like everyone doing a bunch of flips, like tumbling, and stunting.  I’ve always wanted to do that.”   

Not only is he a cheerleader, but he also plays football.  Which means he does two sports in the fall.   Payne says that he used to be the “quiet guy,” but after cheer he became more social and made a lot more friends.  

He was also on the team that placed 4th at state his junior year but couldn’t compete at nationals because of a knee injury.  He also placed 5th the last season at state.   An interesting fact is that Payne wasn’t even planning to tryout for the Oregon State team.  He didn’t go to any clinics or open gyms.  

He just tried out and luckily,  was one of the 13 boys who made the team.  Payne says he didn’t think he would’ve made the Oregon State team because of his stunting skills, but working with the other cheerleaders at tryouts helped him improve a lot in such little time.  

After finding out he made the team he felt very excited, ”I didn’t think they were going to pick me.”   Payne is looking forward to the new season, “I think it’s going to be very fun.  Especially with the new team.”