Finally cheering in front of 85,000

Lincoln, NE – South Dakota State cheerleaders Heath Van Hill and Mary Ellen Manning watch the Jackrabbits face the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2010. In his first year as a member of the team and his first time at a Husker game, Hill said the experience was great. “I love the atmosphere [and to] hear the crowd,” Hill said.

Story by Brent Reese
Photos by Marcus Scheer

Mary Ellen Manning, a fifth-year senior cheerleader, said the only reason she came back for one more year at South Dakota State was because of this game. In the end, even a loss to Nebraska was pretty awesome.

“The fans are awesome. Our fans are awesome. Your fans are awesome. Your fans have true heart,” Manning said. “I’m thankful that we’re here.”

For South Dakota State fans, a 0-0 score after one quarter wasn’t surprising, and just showing up to Memorial Stadium wasn’t good enough.

For the SDSU cheerleaders, the game was a chance of a lifetime in front of 85,000-plus fans. It also could have been a long afternoon against the No. 6 team in the country, but that didn’t happen.

Jackrabbit cheerleaders said they were pleased with the Husker welcome they received as they asked for directions and where to get food in Lincoln.

“The other cheerleaders also, the other team, they were really nice to us,” SDSU cheerleader Heath Van Hill said. “They all said hello when they walked by.”

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