Southern cheerleading brings home fifth-place trophy and memories



Cheer Squad celebrates accomplishment

A last-minute reconstruction of routines did not stop the Missouri Southern Cheerleading team from returning to Joplin from the NCA and NDA Collegiate Cheer and Dance Championship in Daytona, Fla., with a fifth-place trophy for the Small Coed II Division.

“We completely redid our routine that Friday, Saturday and Monday at 6 a.m. before we left because we had a member unable to go to Daytona,” said Amanda Stussy, junior sociology major. “So we kind of flew by the seat of our pants for a while.”

From April 9 to April 13, around 7,000 students from 35 states, Japan, Canada and Costa Rica met on the beaches of Daytona to compete and show their abilities.

The cheer team performed a game day performance with the MSSU flags, signs and props, similar to routines they would usually do at Southern events.

“I will remember our first cheer section, we had the crowd yelling with us,” said Stussy. “It’s a different kind of rush when the crowd yells with you.”

The team’s second performance was not as routine as their game day cheer. To prepare for the new routine, the cheerleaders had three hour-long practices and early morning weight training to build muscle for stunts and tumbling.

“The other performance we did was a two minute, 15 second routine to music that involved pyramids, group stunts, partner stunts, baskets, tumbling, jumps and dance,” said captain Megan Stump, senior business management major.

The cheer team performed the second performance three times throughout the competition.

“In preliminaries we placed fifth, putting us in the Challenge Cup with two other teams in our division. We had to win the Challenge Cup in order to make it to finals, and we did it!” Stump said.

After the competing on the oceanside stage, the Bandshell, the cheer team was able to spend some time relaxing near the water.

“We put a lot of time and hard work into our routine and it felt good to relax on the beach with my team after we were all done,” said Stump.