WT Spirit Squad Members Announced for 2022-23

Chip Chandler

CANYON, Texas — A team of spirited students is ready to get loud for a new school year at West Texas A&M University. 

The WT Spirit Squad will make its official 2022-23 debut at the Sept. 3 football game in Bain-Schaeffer Buffalo Stadium on WT’s Canyon campus. Kickoff is 7 p.m. for the game against Western Colorado University. 

“School spirit is truly the heart of the University, and we are so excited to have this year’s squad make its debut at our first homecoming game,” said coach Kylie Frizzell. “Our team has been working since April to prepare for the new season, and they’re going to knock the crowds’ socks off.” 

University Spirit was formed in 2020 in the Office of Student Engagement and Leadership to encompass an array of organizations and initiatives, including the Spirit Squad, Maroon Platoon, Bucky the Mascot and more. 

The Spirit Squad leads cheers and chants, entertains during halftime and time-outs, and helps with game promotions and contests. In addition to their duties at football games, the squad also performs at various special events and celebrations, including Buff Branding and other campus-wide festivities. Team members exhibit tumbling, dance and cheer skills. 

Maroon Platoon is a student-led organization with chanting and dancing members decked out in maroon body paint. Other University Spirit organizations and initiatives include West Texas Wednesdays, when students, faculty and staff wear maroon weekly; Buff Branding, a series of orientation events designed to introduce elements of campus life to new students and transfers; Pigskin Revue, the traditional Homecoming pep rally; the Homecoming parade; Paint the Town Maroon, where WT students paint windows around campus and Canyon for Homecoming Week; student organization tailgating; and more. 

“Our Spirit Squad and all of our spirit initiatives ultimately help bolster a sense of pride and belonging across campus while creating connections throughout the entire Buff family,” said Kimberly Cornelsen, senior director of student engagement and leadership. 

The 2022-23 Spirit Squad members include Larissa Alderete, a sophomore business marketing major from Plainview; Cesilia Arellano, a junior nursing major from Tulia; Riley Askins, a freshman elementary education major from Amarillo; Brittany Bartlett, a freshman sports and exercise science major from Lubbock; Kloie Bravo, a freshman education major from Pampa; Jax Brooks, a sophomore Where the Learning Continues student from Amarillo; Hailey Clark, a freshman pre-vet major from Humble; Lexi Farmer, a sophomore general business major from Amarillo; Amon Fredinand, a sophomore dance education major from Amarillo; Sarah Gil, a sophomore psychology major from El Paso; Devin Lindley, a freshman theater education major from Pampa; Estrella Lopez, a freshman pre-nursing major from Fort Sumner, New Mexico; and Jayden Lucas, a freshman dance education major from Amarillo. 

The squad also includes Madeline Martinez, a sophomore education major from Sherman; Olivia Matthews, a sophomore graphic design major from Fort Worth; Alyssa McAlister, a junior ag business major from Portales, New Mexico; Alexandra McPhillips, a junior dance major from Conroe; Monica Salas, a sophomore education major from Canadian; Abigayle Slater, a freshman psychology major from Lovington, New Mexico; Ashleigh Smith, a sophomore healthcare management major from Olton; Kaitlyn Snyder, a freshman pre-nursing major from Bushland; Alyssa Tinney, a freshman pre-engineering major from Waco; Armani Tolbert, a freshman psychology major from Houston; Victoria Vega, a junior nursing major from Lubbock; and Cecilia Ward, a freshman pre-nursing major from Plainview. 

Bucky handler is Madelyn Pounds, a junior equine industry and business major from Austin. 

Offering students educational experiences outside the classroom that allows them to showcase their abilities and accomplishments is a key component of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World. 

That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, the five-year campaign — which publicly launched Sept. 23 — has raised more than $110 million.