The JMU cheerleaders performed a routine for the halftime show at last week’s EMU vs. Bridgewater men’s basketball game. “I was a little confused when the JMU cheerleaders were at an EMU basketball game,” said Sophomore Nicole Yoder, “but their show was still pretty cool.”
Phil Guengerich, EMU athletic events coordinator, had the answer; he is responsible for organizing half- time entertainment for the basketball games. “Dave King and I had taken Herm to Red Front, and we got into a conversation with two young women,” Phil explains, “it turned out that one of them was the cheerleading coach at JMU!” Phil asked if they would be willing to come perform at the basketball game. “She said that they are always looking for places to practice, so I saved the space for February 13.” After many emails and phone calls, they confirmed that part of their team would be performing at the game.
The JMU team won first place at the National Cheerleading Association’s National Championship in 2012, so their presence at the rivalry match was certainly an exciting one. “They have three squads,” Guengerich explained, “and they brought a combination of their three teams here.”
One of the incredible parts of the arrangement was that it was all free. “After the show, we took them to the snack bar and told them to take whatever they wanted,” Guengerich said, “and we thanked them over and over again.” Guengerich added, “this is probably second tier only to the Zooperstars who performed a little while ago.” The Zooperstars bring in inflatable characters to perform dances or skits. Usually they charge about $3,500, but since they were already performing at JMU, they agreed to stay an extra night and only charged the school $1,700.
Guengerich revealed, “[The cheer team] said that the crowd was really responsive. I really think they enjoyed it.”