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Chicago Girl Rings Her Cowbell


OK DAWGS, the season is here and we have the best there is to get us up and keep us up spirit-wise. College is not college without sports and CHEERLEADERS. They have been preparing as hard as the football team practicing, working out and learning routines. Our cheerleaders are really good athletes too!

This week we would like to introduce you to a young lady who is a member of the All-Girl Spirit Squad. Her name is Annalise Haarstad and she hails from “The Land of Lincoln”. Specifically from Elmhurst, Illinois just outside of Chicago and I mean just! I went to the Elmhurst website to visit and I was WOWED! I was amazed at the things I saw. I still can safely say though it would be too cold for my blood.

Annalise was born on Feb. 17th, 1997. She attended and graduated from York Community High School where she cheered from the 8th grade through the 11th. She is a junior now, working towards a degree in Finance. Annalise says she hopes to spend some time just traveling and exploring when she gets her degree from State until she decides where she wants to go to grad school at. She hopes to one day live somewhere out west in the mountains or near the ocean.

Annalise competed on an all-star cheer team (Lady Lightning) her junior year making it all the way to the All-Star Cheer World competition in 2014. She then competed solely with them her senior year. She met the person who would most impact her as a cheerleader with Lady Lightning, the coach of the team, Darlene Fanning who is nationally known in all-star cheer. Annalise says that Coach Fanning was really tough and constantly pushed her both physically and mentally to be the very best she could be. It made her stronger in all aspects of her life which sports usually does for athletes. Even now as a SEC Cheerleader she remembers advice Coach Fanning gave her and follows it even though she’s not here. That ladies and gentlemen is RESPECT for what Annalise was taught.

I asked what is her favorite memory of State so far. Her reply was one for the ages folks, one that we all hope we can enjoy more than once. She said “ My best memory at State had to be cheering the 2016 Egg Bowl game. It was such a great experience cheering on our football team and blowing away Ole Miss on their turf. It was so much fun celebrating on the field in front of all our fans after the game as well. I even got a picture with Coach Mullen and the trophy after the game”.

Oh yeah Baybee, we all loved it and will carry it with us as long as we live. Hopefully we have even better memories built this year. Besides being a SUPER cheerleader for us, Annalise loves to COOK fellows! Now true enough she said “healthy cooking” whatever that is? Maybe we could get her to at least make us a tongue-slapping good Banana Pudding with some calf-slobber on it or a to-die-for Peach Cobbler. What is that ancient polish proverb....”man shall not live by healthy cooking alone or he will die with a frown”. Actually you might can tell, I just made it up :)

One thing is for sure, Annalise we are so proud you chose to grace us with your talents and you will forever be a member of our DAWG Family!

When you get to a pep rally, Cowbell Ringing Practice or the game Saturday look for Annalise and be ready as she helps us to GET FIRED UP!

Annalise invites you to follow her at:

Twitter: annalise87

Instagram: annalise_haarstad & annalise_fitness

We are so pleased that we have Annalise to help us yell “GO DAWGS”!