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The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Texas State Cheer reflects on award-winning season


Texas State cheerleaders get ready to rush the field with the football team before a game against ULM, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021, at Bobcat Stadium.

Emotions were at an all-time high for junior backspot Maryssa Mears as she waited to take the mat alongside her stunt group at the Universal Cheer Association (UCA) College National Championship in Orlando.
While nerves were present, she felt confident in her skills and was more than ready to showcase the work and dedication her team put in this past season.
“I felt more excited than nervous to finally take the mat,” Mears said. “This is because our coaches assured us that preparation doesn’t lead to doubtful thinking, instead it made us more confident as a team.”
In January, Texas State’s Spirit Program headed to the Walt Disney World Resort where it competed against other cheer programs from across the nation at UCA College National Championship, one of the most prestigious cheer competitions. Hundreds of universities across the country compete each year to demonstrate their talents in a variety of categories.
Texas State Head Spirit Program Coordinator Jocelyn Stephens said the cheer team had been preparing for the competition since last August where the group started practicing its routines. While the cheer team practiced for its own competition season, they continued to cheer on Texas State football and volleyball at every home game.
“The fall is our heavier kept time commitment because of the sports we cheer, the preparation of nationals and just you know getting in that time to practice and to work out,” Stephens said.
Last year in April 2021, the cheer program competed in the All-Girl Division 1A category taking third and placing sixth in the 1A Coed Game Day competition. This year, the Bobcats competed in team routine and the group stunt competition.
Texas State has competed in the team routine since the 1990s. For the 2021-22 season, Texas State placed 10th with a score of 81.5. As for the group stunt competition, Texas State took third this year.
“They executed their routine and I think it was the best it had ever looked, and they were rewarded for that which was even better,” Stephens said.
The group stunt competition consists of skills, transitions, exists and entries that are all put together for a one-minute routine. There are four positions needed for this routine to come together which are a backspot, side base, main base and a top girl. There are a set of judges for the girls on the ground and a set of judges for the top girl. Each judge watches all the key movements and the flow of the routine.
This year, the four cheerleaders that participated in this category were Mears, junior side base Alex Davidson, senior top girl Brittainy Carrell and junior main base Maddy Hollen.
“Placing third in the UCA College Partner Stunt Nationals felt amazing knowing our hard work paid off and that we were bringing a title back to our university,” Carrell said.
Before even stepping foot in Orlando, Texas State Cheer had to submit a highlight video back in November showcasing its campus/community involvement and overall cheer skills in order to compete at UCA. A percentage of the team’s score at UCA comes from the highlights detailed in the video submission.
“For a competition like UCA, the preparation begins with our attitudes on day one of training,” Mears said. “The team came together with the infinite amount of talent and gave everything we had toward each other to reach our one goal.”
While the competition season is behind them, the Bobcats aren’t finished yet. The team will continue cheering on the men’s and women’s basketball teams at their home games and will travel with the men’s basketball team for its tournament in Pensacola, Florida. 
Throughout the spring semester, the team will continue to practice twice a week and use this time as preparation for next year as they explore new techniques and practice different routines.
“I’m most excited to come back stronger next season and build off of last year with even harder skills,” Hollen said. “I’m also looking forward to being a senior next year and being able to help set an example for the younger girls and be a good leader for them so we can be successful and build a team that will always be remembered.”

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  • Texas State cheerleaders warm up the crowd before the beginning of the football game against Baylor, Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, at Bobcat Stadium.

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