PHILADELPHIA - The Gallaudet University cheerleading club received numerous accolades for their performance at Complete Cheer and Dance Inc.’s Moai Madness at Temple University on Sunday, April 3, earning first place in their division, the Wow Factor award and the Extraordinary Sportsmanship award.
As the only team in their division, Gallaudet competed against - and beat - a set score in order to earn their first-place distinction.
“The Gallaudet cheer squad does not have a lot of experience competing. While our skills are still developing, the team’s ability to go out on the floor and hit every stunt perfectly is what put them over the top,” said Gallaudet coach Erin Schneider. “The team had zero deductions from the stunting portion of their routine, which is difficult for even the top squads.”
For their second award, Gallaudet beat out 37 other teams, including Penn State University, University of Delaware, Misericordia University, several all-star teams and some dance and stunt-only squads as the team with the ‘wow factor.’
But perhaps most impressive of all was the Bison’s third award of the day that recognized their extraordinary sportsmanship during the competition.
“The most valuable lesson any coach can teach a child is the importance and value of being a good sport, posted Moai Madness on their Facebook page. “So thank you for setting the example and leading the way!”
The judges were not the only ones to notice GU’s positive attitude. Within hours of the team’s performance, fans were already beginning to post their support on the Gallaudet Bison Facebook page. The “personality and spirit of the team was great,” posted fan Lisa Pierce. “My daughter and her team were in amazement of the team’s talent.”
“This is an amazing accomplishment for Gallaudet Cheerleading. These athletes work very hard all year preparing for this competition, while supporting their school at the same time,” said Schneider. “This is the first large competition of this type that Gallaudet has attended, and hopefully after such an amazing performance we will be able to attend many more.”
Participants included junior captain Rosemary Johnson (Richardson, Texas), senior Brittany Williams (Frederick, Md.), senior Samantha Krieger (Carmel, Ind.), junior Brittany Frank (Montgomery Village, Md.), junior Matthew Moore (Zebulon, N.C.), sophomore Chanel Gleicher (Germantown, Md.), sophomore Katelyn Jurney (Tulsa, Okla.), sophomore Marie Qualls (Olathe, Kan.), freshman Giovanna Vazquez (Hollywood, Fla.), Michelle Morris, Kiara Young and Joseph Ofodile (Raleigh, N.C.). Assistant Damien Spillane also coaches the Bison cheer squad.
The cheerleading team will have postseason practices starting
next week. Anyone wishing to try out for next year’s team
should contact Schneider at firstname.lastname@example.org
and should plan to attend the postseason weekly practices to
prepare for tryouts.