Story By: Jasmine Taylor

The Missouri Western cheerleading team was driven to keep the athletic teams motivated and the crowd interactive during their 2015 season.

Some individuals still may not consider cheerleading a sport but the cheer squad has worked tremendously hard to prove that this statement is nothing more than a misconception. Student athlete Morgan Barnett, who is a member of the cheerleading squad, enjoys being a cheerleader and expressed that there is much more to being a cheerleader than just being entertaining to watch.

“They are the support system of sports teams,” Barnett said. “Without cheerleaders, there is no sure student body support system. The players need us to tell them they can do it when they feel defeated and if they are defeated we stick by them.”

The team practiced twice a week during the 2015 season. During their practices, they worked on various stunts and pyramids, tumbling, jumps and conditioning exercises. They also utilized the MEGA gymnastics gym to improve tumbling skills and to perform their routines. Throughout the season, the cheer squad also had fundraising opportunities to raise money for their team.

With the hectic game schedule and other activities, the team experienced a few bumps along the way, but that did not stop them from overcoming any obstacles to make their season a great one. Taylor Collins expressed that there were a few changes the team overcame, but they stuck together as a team and had a successful season.

“When some team members were hurt, we always found a way to keep going,” Collins said. “We have brought new talent to MWSU accomplishing bigger and better stunts. We have also gained a lot more interest from girls and guys for the new season. We have had a great season, bigger team, newer skills and new accomplishments.”

The team has yet to compete in any competitions, but plans to compete in their first competition at COA Cheer and Dance competition in Kansas City in April of 2016.

Western’s cheer squad had many strengths that the team possessed during their season. Each individual wanted to do well and wanted to see the team succeed.

“There are many different personality types on our squad and everyone brings something great,” Barnett said. “We are persevering and, as a team, there is nothing we can’t accomplish. Hopefully, there will be more guys on the team next season and we will be able to do more partner stunting.”

The cheerleading squad would also like to see their team be involved with more competitions next season.

With a great season, Western’s cheer team expects to have another great upcoming season.