WACO (August 28, 2014) The Baylor football team has been hard at work preparing for the season opener Sunday night against Southern Methodist University and so has the Baylor University Spirit Squad.
The team first performed at the Old Waco Municipal Stadium, followed by a decades-long stint at Floyd Casey Stadium, and Sunday night the squad will start a new chapter when members hit the field at McLane Stadium.
The squad originated in the 1920's and it looked very different from what it does today.
The team was exclusive to men and it wasn't until 1968 that women were allowed.
In 1975 Baylor created an all-coed dance team called the Honey Bears.
The Honey Bears changed their name to Songleaders in 1981 and have remained an integral part of the Spirit Squad since.
The latest addition to the squad was an all-female cheer team in 2004, a move that dramatically changed the dynamic of cheerleading at Baylor.
However, before the students are allowed to perform their physical fitness is tested through challenging routines and also through a history exam.
The exam will test the student's knowledge of the spirit program and of the school, and they must pass in order to make it on the roster.
When members of the squad aren’t training at the gym or studying for their careers, they can be found in the community volunteering their time for charitable causes.
Some team veterans have gotten the chance to spend time with veterans at the Waco V.A. Hospital, while others have traveled to Zambia and Kenya as part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.