The Baker Orange

Male flyer adds new dimension to BU spirit squad

Story by Lauren Bechard

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Kyle Fecteau never imagined he would participate in cheerleading.

In fact, he came to Baker on an athletic scholarship for golf and before now, he didn’t consider cheerleading a sport.

Kyle Fecteau is one of the four yell leaders on the Baker University spirit squadLaura Price

“I never really bashed on cheer, but it’s a lot harder than I ever thought it would be,” Fecteau said. “It’s actually been a lot of fun so far.”

The newfound yell leader says it all started around 1 a.m. one night when he and his roommate Tyler Douglass, a junior on the BU spirit squad, were just “messing around” in the middle of the New Learning Center courtyard.<br/>

“I was just doing some standing back flips and Tyler started to pick me up (in a stunt),” Fecteau said. “That led to a couple other guys coming out and working with us. I think they were surprised at how fast I caught on.”

Although he hasn’t had any prior experience with cheerleading stunts or tumbling, Fecteau says he has picked up the skills pretty quickly and attributes his abilities to a sport from his past.

“A lot of people think I have done gymnastics before, because I’m really acrobatic, but that just comes from diving in high school,” Fecteau said.

Fecteau was on the diving team for all four years of his high school career at Blue Valley West. He says he was given the opportunity to dive at the Division I level, but turned it down to come to Baker.

“Diving was fun, and it helped me learn a lot, but it wasn’t my passion,” Fecteau said.

After practicing with Douglass, Fecteau started attending the spirit squad practices. Head coach Allyssa King says they have been able to make use of his talents as a flyer and a base.

“Kyle has been a huge asset to the squad so far,” King said. “He has the flexibility and technicalities down from his experience with diving. We are utilizing his strength as a base and he has been able to step in and do really well.”

Currently, the spirit squad is working with choreographers to put together a routine for upcoming competitions.

King is not sure if Fecteau will appear as a flyer at this point, but she thinks it would improve the quality of the team’s performance.

“It certainly adds another level of difficulty,” King said. “And there’s a shock factor there because you don’t see (male flyers) that often. “

The BU spirit squad features four yell leaders this year and King hopes to incorporate an all-male stunt group into the competition routine with Fecteau as the flyer.

“It’s been hard to adjust (to flying) from diving,” Fecteau said. “A lot of the stuff I do is from diving, so I am completely straight or tighten my hands up, and it’s the exact opposite with cheer, so I’ve had a hard time adjusting from that.”

Although there are differences between diving and flying that he must overcome, Fecteau says he has courage to do so because he trusts his bases and is eager to learn.

“The work involved with stunting is a lot harder than you would think,” Fecteau said. “It takes a lot of practice. It’s just like diving, though. You can practice something as many times as you want, but you only get one chance to do it a routine and you have to do it perfect that one time.”