MVNU is home to multiple sports teams ranging in size and athleticism, including a cheerleading squad. The cheerleading squad serves as a way for students to get involved in supporting other athletics at the school.
Prospective cheerleaders must complete a tryout and meet certain requirements, explains cheerleading Coach Jill Spearman-Macklin. “Members of the team complete a tryout that includes showcasing their cheers, chants, dance routines, jumps, stunting, and tumbling skills. They also have academic requirements that must be satisfied to tryout and maintain their status on the team,” said Macklin.
The cheerleading season begins in the fall semester with cheer activities and even community service. “Already this year the cheerleading program has been involved with the Dan Emmett Festival Cheer Competition, holding a mini cheer clinic, judging local cheer tryouts and competitions, assembling shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child, helping the cross country and track teams with the homecoming 5K, and decorating the chapel for Christmas, with additional activities yet to come,” said Macklin.
Not only do the cheerleaders do a lot for the community but cheerleading itself also provides its members with skills that can last a lifetime. Macklin said, "cheerleading builds confidence, poise and leadership skills, it strengthens their ability to be an
effective team member within any career field they may choose.” There have been many cheerleaders to go through the squad with multiple different majors, but they all come through the program with skills and the confidence to propel them into their career field.
In the spring semester, the cheerleading squad will be involved in competition season. “We will travel to Point Park University on January 17th, Siena Heights University on February 15th, and to the regional competition at Siena Heights on February 29th.” Each individual team member is judged on their skills, dancing, jumping, basket tosses, overall performance, routine composition, running and standing tumbling, ability to engage the crowd, motion technique, the flow of the choreography, as well as difficulty and execution of stunts and pyramids.
The cheerleading doesn’t end with the completion of competition season. It leads to opportunities for the squad members after leaving college. Macklin said that she has used cheerleading in her life after college, even making a career out of it. “Over the last 28 years that I have coached here, I also coached 10 years as a middle school cheer coach. My background in cheerleading has afforded me opportunities to travel all over the United States as well as Canada, Mexico, Malaysia, and Colombia teaching and judging cheerleading,” says Macklin.
Photo by Ohio Corporate Photographers.