October 2, 2012
Second-year Texans cheerleader returning to Brenham Saturday
Stephanie Farrer credits her time at Blinn for helping her become a Houston Texans cheerleader—and this Saturday she heads back to Brenham, where it all began.
The former Blinn College Treasures dancer returns to the sidelines in Brenham once again Saturday for a 7 p.m. Buccaneer football game against sixth-ranked Kilgore College. Farrer and five other Texans cheerleaders will head to Cub Stadium for photos with fans and an autograph session from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
“I haven’t been back to a Blinn game since I left, and I’m excited to see my old coach and watch the girls dance,” said Farrer, who attended Blinn from 2009-11.
Farrer came to Blinn from Crosby High School, where her drill team coach, Nikki Blanchette, was college roommates with Blinn’s dance and cheer coach at the time. Blanchette suggested that Farrer continue her dance career at Blinn. It was there that Farrer met Lindsay Slott, who danced with the Treasures during Farrer’s freshman year. Seeing Slott make the Texans cheerleading squad and learning that Blinn has sent dancers to the Dallas Cowboy and Houston Dynamo cheer teams as well as the Houston Rockets dance squad convinced Farrer to give it a shot herself the following year.
To make the tryout, Farrer flew back to Houston from Daytona, Fla., where Blinn’s dance team was competing in the national championships. Once she arrived, a travel-weary Farrer had to face down a competition of 800 other dancers.
“Once the tryouts started, I just said, ‘Let’s just see what happens,’” Farrer said. “‘Whatever happens, happens.’”
She survived three rounds of cuts in the first two weekends of tryouts to reach the finals. Once a finalist, she learned several Texans dance routines and performed them at Reliant Stadium for the team’s draft day celebration. About a week after draft day, she was officially named a Texans cheerleader.
“I love game days,” Farrer said. “It’s a lot of hard work, but you get to meet so many different kinds of people and being able to perform at games has been amazing.”
Farrer and her fellow cheerleaders practice three times a week for 3-5 hours each, and also make 40 public appearances throughout the year in addition to the games. The cheerleaders are expected to arrive at the games five hours before kickoff.
Because the cheerleaders are not guaranteed their spots the following year, Farrer had to win her position again this year, and this time she faced almost 1,000 competitors. Once again, she won her spot. She is one of the few cheerleaders on the squad who earned a spot on the team in her very first tryout.
“This year was a lot more stressful,” Farrer said. “It’s very hard to make it back a second and a third year.”
Farrer, 20, left Blinn with a 4.0 grade-point average and was on the dean’s list both years. She now attends the University of Houston, where she studies chemistry and looks forward to a career as a high school drill team instructor and chemistry teacher.
In the meantime, she hopes to cheer the Texans all the way to a Super Bowl victory. Farrer cheered for the Buccaneer football team when quarterback Cam Newton, now with the Carolina Panthers, led Blinn to the 2009 junior college national championship in a 31-26 victory over Fort Scott (Kan.) Community College. Blinn won the Citizens Bank Bowl in the game’s final seconds on an 84-yard punt return by Chad Froechtenicht.
“It was amazing,” Farrer said. “The whole game was back and forth, but when he ran that punt back we all went crazy, jumping up and down, screaming. It was definitely worth freezing in the cold.”
Admission to Saturday’s Blinn-Kilgore game is $5, and children 12 and under get in free. Blinn students and employees get in free with their College IDs. The Texans’ 2012 cheerleader calendar will be available for sale.