UMF Cheerleading Club Searching for Athletes Willing to Compete Next Year

UMF Cheerleading Club Searching for Athletes Willing to Compete Next Year

By Audrey Carroll  Contributing Writer

Joy Jancewicz, Annie Dobos, Kara Doana, and Crystal Macomber pose for a photo before cheering their first game of the season. (Photo courtesy of Audrey Carroll)

    After a stellar 2018-2019 competition season, consisting of two first place victories on the road, the UMF cheerleading club is unable to compete at all this year due to a lack of participants. Now the team is searching for next year’s competition squad.

   The club has diminished from 19 members last year to only seven this year. This significant decrease has affected the squads competition season dramatically. “Unfortunately, the UMF team is unable to compete this year. The program does not have the number of athletic roles to achieve that goal,” says Annie Dobos, President of the club.

   This year, the squad simply did not “have the right amount of flyers,” said the club’s Vice President Joy Jancewicz. Flyers are the athletes who are lifted during the stunting portion of the routine. An important part of a cheerleading routine is stunting, or lifting one or more athletes into the air who showcase their flexibility and other skills in order to receive a higher score. “Potentially, you can teach someone to fly. . .It would be hard work, but not impossible,” said Jancewicz.

   Although the club’s seven athletes are not competing this year, they are still keeping busy. So far, the club has cheered at two basketball games – one at UMF and one hosted at Thomas College. Some of the cheerleaders also set up a table at the Spring Club Fair and were approached by a few interested individuals, showing hope for next season.

   The club has also been brainstorming fundraising ideas for this year. Not only would these events raise money for the club, but they would also “get people’s attention, and remind them of our program” said club member Kara Doane.

   So far, the club has discussed hosting a clinic for young cheerleaders, and is also considering participating at this years Relay for Life on campus. Both ideas served well for the club in the past.

   Last year, the club held a community-based event, focused on getting local children active. “The entire UMF cheering team put a cheer clinic together that younger athletes could attend to better their skills as a cheerleader,” Dobos says. This event consisted of three sessions, during which the children were grouped by age and then taught a small routine that was performed for their parents during the last session.

   At last year’s Relay for Life, the club sold energy drinks and performed a few stunts for the attendees, while also cheering on participants in the relay from approximately 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.

   “With all of these events, the club was very busy and very active in the student life at UMF as well as the surrounding community,” said Dobos, demonstrating why the club would like to do them again.

   While the club hopes to raise awareness through these events, current athletes always encourage anyone who has ever wanted to cheer to join their team as soon as possible. “If you’re interested in joining cheering at all, I would say do it, because even if you don’t have any experience in it or anything, we’re very willing to help you build the needed skills,” said Doane.

“It’s not a difficult thing to do, it’s just time consuming. You have to be willing to put in the effort to get the result.”

   While it may be too late for anyone interested to cheer at basketball games with the club this year, it is not too late “to take part in other events this semester,” said Jancewicz. “I think it would help, too, for you to get a feel for the team – to dip your toes in the water to see if it something that you might be interested in for next year.”

     If you’re interested in joining, you are encouraged to contact the clubs President Annie Dobos, or Vice President, Joy Jancewicz, via email at or

UMF Cheerleaders Prepare For Upcoming Competition

By Harley Davis, Contributing Writer 

The UMF Cheerleading Club is preparing to travel out of state for two competitions in March and working hard in the meantime on refining choreography and finding time for extra hours of practice despite recent snowstorms.  

Large amounts of snow during the beginning of the semester have affected the team’s practice schedule. According to the president and coach of the cheerleading team, Kristin Cobleigh, “The team has been trying to get extra practice time in, but it has been hard due to the snow.”

Despite the weather, UMF Cheerleading has been meeting three times a week for practice, with practices averaging three hours long. “Lately we have been cleaning up and changing some minor things in the routine to get little extra points in various judging categories,” said Cobleigh. “We’ve also been trying to get team bonding in so that everyone’s spirits are up as we go to competition”

Compared to previous cheerleading teams at UMF, this year’s team has areas of strength that have not been seen in a team in past years.  “A strength that this team has over teams in the past is their ability to learn and perform skills they have never done before college quickly and efficiently,” said Cobleigh. “This year many of our girls have a vast background of knowledge that helps the team work well together when presented with something that doesn’t work or look the best in the routine.”

According to Ashley Skinner, the only senior on this year’s cheerleading team, the team spirit with this group is better than that of previous years. Our dynamic is one of the best I’ve ever been apart of,” Skinner said. “We are able to come to practice, stay focused, and work really hard, but we are all close friends so there is never a dull moment; someone is always laughing or joking around.”

While the competitions this year are out of state, the team is looking forward to their friends and family being able to watch them perform. “One of the best things about competitions is our families, friends and supporters,” said Cobleigh. ‘It’s a really cool thing to look out while on stage and see just a cluster of people all wearing UMF cheerleading T-shirts.

UMF Cheerleading will be participating in two competitions coming up in the month of March. “March 11th we are going to Syracuse, New York for the Salt City Beach Classic, and March 18th we are going to Warwick, Rhode Island for the Ocean State Beach Masters,” said Kaitlyn Polk, treasurer for the cheerleading team.

According to the ACDA website, the Salt City Beach Classic will open its doors at 10 a.m. and the competition will begin at 11a.m. Similarly, the Ocean State Beach Masters competition opens its doors at 12 p.m. and competition will begin at 1 p.m. Both events require an entry fee for spectators which must be paid in cash. For further information, see their respective websites.

“We want to represent UMF in the best way we can, so we have had no choice but to push ourselves at every single practice,” Skinner said. “We are ready for whatever this competition season is going to bring us.”