Over the weekend, the youth of Killeen had a chance to learn some moves from seasoned pros that came back home.
But we’re not talking about the massive NFL players.
Traci (Curb) Tipping and Chrislyn Herring returned to Leo Buckley Stadium as coaches during the fifth annual Cen-Tex Football/Cheer Camp and Combine.
“It is paying it forward,” Tipping said. “Hopefully the girls will continue to do it, grow in dance and cheerleading and get excited about it.”
“I love working with little kids, especially kids that look up to us,” Herring said. “It’s always a good feeling.”
The cheerleading aspect of the event is in its second year and included 300 football players and 50 cheerleaders. While the boys on the football field ran through cones, threw passes and dodged defenders, the girls beyond the south end zone jumped, danced and cheered, with Tipping and Herring leading the way.
Tipping, a 1999 graduate of Killeen High School and a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, returned to the camp for the second year and said she had a bigger role in it this year.
For her, coming back to the same stadium where she was a Kangarette offered a great bit of nostalgia being back on the stadium located on the campus of her alma mater.
“My whole family is from Killeen,” Tipping said. “What I love about being back here is also Killeen High School and performing on the football field. You can’t beat the excitement of the performance.”
Herring graduated from Ellison in 2007 and now lives in Los Angeles. She is a former Oakland Raiderette and was happy to come back home, help out and reminisce.
“Our practices, our spring show was really my favorite, and competitions,” Herring said.
The season begins in less than two months on football fields across the Lone Star State.
But in Texas, it’s more than about the game as towns and schools combine bands, cheerleaders and spirit squads to put together an experience that has a little something for everyone.
“Football and cheerleading go together,” Tipping said. “I think it’s going to be a lot of fun and the girls get to participate as well as the boys.”
The camp included NFL stars, past and present, who have played in big games in front of thousands in the stands and more on television. But Tipping and Herring have similar experiences cheering on NFL sidelines.
“I think there’s no feeling like it,” Herring said.
“When I stepped out and looked at all of the fans, I got chills all over my body and tears all over my eyes. I had to stop myself from crying because I didn’t want my makeup to smear. It was an amazing feeling.”
“It was an unbelievable experience, especially that first time,” Tipping said. “You can’t really explain it, it’s amazing.”