Grambling State University Cheerleaders competitive spirits willed them to a first place finish at the HBCU All-Star Cheer and Dance Competition April 9 in Atlanta, GA. In addition GSU scored the highest overall score winning the Grand National Championship title.
“Honestly, it feels so amazing to not only be champions, but to also be the best HBCU in the nation. Traveling to Atlanta was so much fun and getting to see other HBCU’s outside of the SWAC was an experience, the way that northern HBCU’s cheer is completely different from down south teams,” said Rica Charleston, cheerleading captain. “We were really the talk of the town; it was finally nice to show people what Grambling State Cheer is all about. I will be sad to leave my team, but I know it will always be in good hands.”
It was GSU’s cheer squad first time in competition in Atlanta against other HBCUs such as Alabama State, Alabama A&M and Florida Memorial” said Terry Lilly, director and coordinator of Recreation and Intramural sports. “The team was prepared, and they really did a good job.”
With budget struggles the cheer squad was not able to travel to their usual location of Daytona Beach, Florida; where they compete against teams like Stephen F. Austin, Austin Peay, and Sam Houston State University.
“These mighty Tigers were so honored to win this award. It was a confidence builder and an opportunity to recruit and support HBCU programs,” said Marcus Kennedy, assistant cheer coach. “It validated all the hard work they put in day in and day out so they can be further recognized as a sport. Hard work pays off,” he added.
The GSU Cheer squad will begin their 2016-2017 cheerleader workshops and tryouts are open to the public from Tuesday till Friday (April 12-15) from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. “Each year the cheerleaders open their doors to individuals who would like to participate in the cheerleading program. It gives people on the campus and recruiting team from the freshmen class to the transfer students a chance to be apart of the Grambling Pride Cheerleaders, added Lilly.