Chris Floe has worked hard to prove himself in a world of student athletes who rank their particular sports above the others, especially above cheerleading.
Chris Floe’s arms are covered with tattoos. The bearded senior criminal justice major towers six feet, three inches, and has biceps like cantaloupes. A pigskin jock in high school, he works nights as a bouncer at The Coug.
He’s also a member of the Washington State University Cheer Team.
When asked what drew him into cheerleading, his response is simple: “Girls.”
“I got into it because of one specific girl,” he says. “But really, I didn’t have anything else to do during basketball season.”
Floe has managed to take flack for being a male cheerleader in stride. “My buddies used to razz me a bit, but it was never anything serious,” he says.
In his three years on the team, he has gained respect from his friends and classmates, especially after they see him flip, cheer, and toss 100-plus-pound cheerleaders over his head dozens of times during a game.
WSU spirit coordinator Amanda Hoppert says respect for the cheer team on campus grows if they place well in the national competitions. In 2005, they got exposure here for their efforts at USA Nationals in Las Vegas.
Floe has worked hard to prove himself in a world of student athletes who rank their particular sports above the others, especially above cheerleading. He and his 29 teammates practice three days a week, lift weights another two days a week, and perform before, during, and after every game. However, if he could have just one wish for his team of spirit folk, it would be for the rest of campus to accept them as true athletes.
Erin Thomas is a junior majoring in communications.