Choosing where to cheer in college can be difficult, but for these Texas Tigers it was a no-brainer! Kayla Mauro and Alexandra Dragonir might call the Lone Star State home, but they love everything about Louisiana State University.
They are both fourth-year members and captains of the Tiger cheerleading team. They met at an LSU Cheerleading Clinic in their senior year of high school and have been inseparable ever since.
Being a captain entails so many qualities and has shaped Kayla and Alexandra into the leaders they are today. Being a mentor for their teammates is something that is important to both of them. They love being the go-to people that help their teammates become better cheerleaders.
“I am so honored to be in a leadership role with this program,” Dragonir said. “We’ve had so many amazing leaders in the past, and it’s an honor to step into their shoes and continue to follow in their footsteps to lead the program to be the best of the best!”
Choosing a big football school with a great game day atmosphere was important to both Alexandra and Kayla.
“I knew LSU was the pinnacle for the college football atmosphere, and that was something I wanted to be a part of.” – Alexandra Dragonir.
Kayla explained how she has been a fan of LSU ever since she saw her first “Rivalry Weekend” matchup against Texas A&M. When she visited for the Auburn vs LSU game in 2015, she turned down offers from other schools and was completely sold on being a Tiger.
“The game day atmosphere isn’t anything I’ve ever seen. Getting to cheer in front of 100,000-plus fans is indescribable,” Mauro said.
Over the past four years, they have learned so many new collegiate skills. Kayla said her favorite skills that she has learned in college are her baskets. For Alexandra, her “signature” tumbling pass is a round off backhand spring step out, round off backhand spring full.
“I like step-outs because they are not too crazy difficult but are a little flashy and give your tumbling pass something extra,” she said.
Going to college out of state, they didn’t know a lot of people and we're so thankful to have each other.
“We have gone through four tryouts, sorority rush, living in a tiny dorm room, and we’re still living together to this day!” Kayla said. “She isn’t just a friend — she is like a sister to me.”
Even though Texas and Louisiana are different, to the girls, Baton Rouge feels like home.
“The people are the same,” Dragonir said. “It’s that southern hospitality.”
They will always be Texas girls at heart, but Louisiana has been a great place for them to call their home away from home for four years.
Be on the lookout for Kayla and Alexandra as they take the sidelines this weekend in Tuscaloosa to cheer on the Tiger against the University of Alabama.
Written By: Madeline Bassett