Hurricane O-Cheer ’04: Battle to the Beat

The energy was pumping on a packed patio Wednesday when organizations competing in the Hurricane Homecoming competitions battled it out for the coveted first place in Organized Cheer [O-Cheer]. The annual Hurricane Homecoming O-Cheer is worth a precious 1,000 points for those competing for a prize in the competition.

The theme this year was “O-Cheer Head-2-Head: Battle to the Beat.” With the backdrop as a boxing ring and a bell to start each round, two organizations were randomly paired off and given two designated songs which each team had to include in an original Homecoming cheer, lasting no longer than five minutes.

“Each round the two organizations have two of the same songs,” Teja Veal, O-Cheer chair, said. “Whichever one uses the songs in the best way wins.”

Round one began with a battle between two first time participating organizations. ‘Canes Gone Crazy rapped, warning the Clemson Tide to “watch our for the Hurricane attack,” but Fusion pulled out a fancy, choreographed dance routine and an alma mater chant to a Michael Jackson song to win the round.

Each organization had certain requirements to include in its cheers. In addition to the overall Homecoming theme, Evolution – Remember, Relive, Recapture, it also had to include the O-Cheer theme, major Homecoming sponsors, at least one UM fight song, the designated O-Cheer battle songs, the two O-Cheer chairs’ names and the UM alma mater.

Among the criteria that the judges, who included Nanette Vega, associate dean of students, and Keith Fletcher, residence coordinator at Hecht Residential College, scored the cheers on were participation, originality/creativity, humor/creativity, style/appearance/school spirit, and usage of the required Homecoming information.

“There is a big emphasis on creativity and school spirit,” Vega said. “Of all the requirements those are weighed the most.”

While those who were competing were excited to participate, spectators were just as energized.

“I am here to support my roommate and I’m really excited to see all the different cheers,” Emily Matos, sophomore, said.

The organizations must wait until Saturday at Homecoming Game to find out the competition winners.

>> For more information on Homecoming, visit

Meghan Risser can be contacted at