College Cheerleading: South Umpqua grad Megan Boye cheers on Beavers for second year
Megan Boye will be at Reser Stadium in Corvallis about four hours before the Beavers kick off Saturday’s Pac-12 game against Washington.
“I have to be game ready,” Boye said. “That means the fake hair, make-up and spray tan are already on, because we’re constantly going and going.”
Boye, who lived in Canyonville most of her life, gets to stand on the sidelines of every football game as a sophomore on the Oregon State University cheerleading team.
“I love it,” Boye said when asked how she likes being on the team.
Oregon State cheer coach Amber Bezates said, “Meg is extremely peppy and brings her teammates a sense of uplift on a regular basis. She performs with pure joy on her face.”
Boye moved to Douglas County when she was 1-year old. She cheered all four years at South Umpqua High School before trying out for the OSU cheer team.
Her mother, Misty Boye, was her cheerleading coach her junior and senior years at S.U., as well as her eighth grade year.
“She taught me more than I taught her,” Misty Boye said. “I was a volleyball player through college and didn’t know anything about cheerleading. During her eighth grade year I was fortunate enough to have two senior girls from the high school help out.”
When the long-time cheerleading coach at South Umpqua retired at the start of Megan Boye’s junior year, Misty Boye stepped up and sought the help of the cheerleaders and coaches around the state to help guide the Lancers.
Now Misty Boye and Michael Boye can be found on the sidelines of every home game for the Beavers.
“My parents are my number one fan,” Megan Boye said, who tries to visit her parents about once a month.
While Megan Boye was growing up the Boye household sported green and yellow and cheered on the University of Oregon from the stands.
“We were Duck fans until she decided to go to OSU,” Misty Boye said. “But we’ve fallen in love with the campus and the community, and I’m a Beaver fan for life.”
As the Ducks and Beavers battled each other on the football field in last year’s Civil War — won 34-24 by OSU — the cheerleading squads from both schools came together and performed a halftime routine for the crowd.
“I like to cheer for football, because the fans are really energetic,” Megan Boye said. “We do the Beaver Walk. We go in front of Reser Stadium to get the crowd pumped up and right before the game starts we do a pre-game performance that’s about 20 minutes. Then the game is another four or five hours of cheering.”
To make sure the team is ready to take on such a rigorous day of cheering David Horn is the OSU cheerleading and dance’s strength and conditioning coach.
The team does conditioning for one hour twice a week and a three-hour mandatory practice twice a week, as well as a personal training session at a local gym every Friday and an open gym exercise each Sunday.
Boye isn’t intimidated by the strength and conditioning training, but said she struggled a little when she had to learn all the different routines — nearly 30 of them — at the start of her freshman year.
“Meg trusts herself more this second year and is excited to try new things and take on more of a leadership role with the new members,” Bezates said. “Meg loves her teammates and OSU. She works extremely hard to make improvements and contribute to the team.”
Before the start of the school year the team also went through a month of daily doubles, where they cheered for six hours each day.
“It was cool to see,” Megan Boye said. “A lot of our guys have never cheered before so it’s cool to see them go from not being able to toss to doing an L-stand.
“You also get to see how you were last year and you’re able to help some of the new cheerleaders.”
This also gets the team ready once basketball season starts and the cheerleaders will be present for both the men’s and women’s basketball games at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis.
Boye hopes to cheer on the Beavers for all four years of her college career.