JMU fans, cheer team fly to Texas for FCS Championship

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WEYERS CAVE, Va. (WHSV) -- James Madison University fans flew out of Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport Thursday to make their way to Frisco, Texas, to cheer on the football team in the FCS National Championship game on Saturday.

The chartered plane carried all sorts of fans, hoping to see the Dukes win their second national championship.

JMU's cheer team was on board, and, having practiced all year and after cheering at the semi-finals in North Dakota, team members say they're ready to bring the best they have.

"(We'll) hopefully be louder for the Dukes because this is the final show, this is it," said cheer member Brigham Shellenberger.

Shellenberger says he's confident the dukes can bring home the title.

"When we were in North Dakota and we were getting booed and everyone was against us, it was pumping the guys up, pumping the team up and it was pumping us up," Shellenburger said. "We were running those flags and it was just (...) super hype, so I'm excited to be on the sidelines and cheer on the Dukes."

JMU President Jonathan Alger was also on board, along with families and even some prospective students.

"My dad went to school at JMU and he loves it and so, having a win would be really awesome and I could brag about it," said Olivia Stinespring, who has applied to JMU.

Others may not have applied to JMU just yet, but are still fans ready to cheer them on.

"(I'm excited for) the national championship atmosphere, I've never been (in) that kind of atmosphere before, so I'm really excited to be a part of that," said AC White, who said he is considering applying to JMU.

For some of the fans, it was a familiar experience, having also attended JMU's first and last championship win in 2004 against the University of Montana.

"You know, I remember the pregame when the bands marched in, and Montana's band marched in and the Dukes marched in and it created so much excitement and the fan base was just phenomenal," said John Salem, who was at the 2004 game. "I think it's going to be that way when we go down there."

JMU faces off against Youngstown on Saturday, January 7 at noon ET.

WHSV's David DeGuzman and Janson Silvers are on Frisco ahead of the FCS National Championship. You can track their journey and the #RoadToFrisco [ here ].