“They certainly help bring down the estrogen level a bit,” Amanda said. “They all bring a fun attitude to it that stops thing from getting too insanely competitive.”
All of the team members believe that their time at Tech was essential for preparing them for the rigors of the Ravens.
“My time on the team at school really prepared me to interact with fans at a high level,” Abby said. “We did a lot of promotional events, which helped me learn how to be an ambassador for the community.”
Squad members also stressed the impact of the Hokies’ coaching staff on their development.
“Rickey Hill (Tech’s head cheerleading coach) taught us what it means to be a professional,” Amanda said. “He made the whole experience feel very real, and showed us that it was a lot more intense than you might think.”
While cheering for the Ravens may be quite the commitment, all of the Hokies on the team have day jobs as well, and credit Tech for helping to prepare them for the challenge of juggling their responsibilities.
“I’m also working on my master’s at Johns Hopkins and teaching kids with disabilities right now, but the experience of being a college athlete really prepared me for all this,” Abby said. “I’m used to this lifestyle of being busy, and since I might not be able to cheer a couple years down the road, I want to do it all while I can.”
Schwille’s job is also demanding, as it requires him to drive roughly 5,000 miles each month to meet with clients, but he’s found a way to balance his commitments.
“It’s been pretty simple to schedule my sales calls around practice,” he said. “I get to talk to people and help them solve problems all day, so I really love everything I do.”
No matter their obligations off the field, the allure of the NFL stage keeps them all coming back for more.
“It’s just incredible, I get goose bumps running out of the tunnel every time,” Amanda said. “It’s just so great being out there and helping everyone get psyched up for the game.”