Busiest team in purple
Interview: Cheer Coach Alicia Rogers
Pee Wee Cheer Camp Registration
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- The new Cheer Team at Southwestern Assemblies of God University has added to its ranks and, behind Coach Alicia Rogers, is amped up on purple!
Numbering twelve, including Judah the mascot, this years ‘Sisters of Spirit’ have amplified their energy in support of SAGU athletic teams.
“A larger team increases the excitement,” explains Rogers, who has begun her second year as coach. “We are louder and we’re stronger. Plus, we don’t have to worry so much if someone gets injured. With a large roster, we have things covered.”
This squad could be one of the better ones at SAGU in terms of skills and depth.
They are achieving more difficult stunts early in the season, which is a challenge when meshing in so many new team members. “We have several young ladies who are skilled tumblers,” Rogers said recently, “and that is always a crowd pleaser.”
This group is long on leadership. Some have even coached cheerleading.
That is a plus for a group that has the longest season of all the sporting teams at Southwestern. “We will cheer at all home football, volleyball and basketball games,” Rogers pointed out. That’s 47 games!
“We will attend and support our other sports teams,” she added. “The cheerleaders are always willing to volunteer their time to help with anything the athletic department needs, as well as serving other SAGU requests.”
The student body has already seen them at the New Student Orientation pep rally.
Perhaps the event that places the Cheer Team on the biggest stage is October’s Midnight Madness. It kicks-off the basketball season and officially introduces the cheerleaders and both the women’s and men’s hoopsters to the fans.
Slated for late Thursday, October 25, it’s a high-energy night for Southwestern college students and fans!
“Curfew passes are given to all SAGU students who attend,” Rogers said, detailing the contents of the Madness, which is planned by the cheerleaders. “There will be lots of free food and drinks (by local restaurants), t-shirts, door prizes and crowd games,” she added.
The cheer team will entertain the packed house with special routines and cheers. Expect a scrimmage by the men’s and women’s teams. The night is never complete without a three-point shootout and a slam dunk contest featuring varsity players.
While some historians will point to a similar event on campus in the 1990's, it was former Cheer Coach Beverly Robinson who put the national rally on the Southwestern campus four years ago.
A very popular occasion is the annual Pee Wee Cheer Camp. Set for Saturday, September 22, from 9:00am until noon, it is fast-approaching too!
Young girls ages 4-11 are welcome to attend the camp! It includes cheer instruction from the SAGU cheerleaders, a t-shirt and a photo with the cheer team.
The $25 camp fee also includes two tickets to that night’s 6pm football game between Southwestern and Texas Lutheran University. The Pee Wee Campers will perform at halftime in collaboration with the SAGU Cheer Team!
This year’s co-captains are familiar faces; Catherine Sullivan and Brooke Porter.
“This is Catherine’s fourth year,” Rogers said. “She is a natural leader and brings real maturity to the group. It is her second year in the position.”
Like an assistant coach, Sullivan is a steady hand for Rogers. “She’s a wonderful mentor to these young ladies. Someone to look up to. Mostly, she enjoys cheerleading!”
Porter is a junior with an interesting pom-pom lineage.
As a third-year member on the team, Brooke is following the footsteps of both her sister, Brennan Porter Litke, and her mom, Bronwyn Ellison Porter, who were also SAGU cheerleaders. How fun is that!?
“I have watched Brooke mature into a wonderful young lady,” adds Rogers. “She knows cheerleading and is great at training the other team members. Like Catherine, she has a heart for cheer. More than that, she loves the ladies and wants God’s best in their lives.”
“Catherine and Brooke are close friends, which makes for amazing leadership. Working together is what a ‘team’ is all about.”
The squad returns four other veterans from the 2011-12 team in; Kyndra Ables, Asia Jones, Hayley Rhodes and Sisi Ramirez. “They are an amazing group,” praised Rogers.
“I am so happy they returned! They raised the bar last year with their effort. They also set the tone for our reputation as talented cheerleaders who love God and people.”
As for the newbies, they include Justice Harvey, Tiffany Heathcock, Audrei Meador, Bailey St. Clair and Katrina Watson.
Coach Rogers lauded them as possessing “amazing cheerleading skills, sweet personalities and hearts after God. They have joined this team with ease and already have the respect of the veterans.”
A real fan favorite is Judah, the mascot, though some refer to her as Judy for the personality they sense inside that suit.
Jacqueline Rose, a former mascot at Life School during her high school years, is back for a second season.
Known for a vivid personality, “she entertains all of us,” admits Rogers. “Jacqueline is a vital part of our cheer team. She embodies the lion and children just love her antics. Everyone can see that she loves what she does.”
Judah’s interaction with fans, young and old alike, is warm, personable and often cuter than the law allows!
Born in Chickasha, Oklahoma, Alicia is married to Nick, who team together as Dorm Pastors of Bridges Hall. Her husband is also an Adjunct Professor at SAGU. They have two children, Nash (7) and Anna (4).
“I am looking forward to my second year of coaching the SAGU Cheer Team,” expressed Rogers. “I’m able to fulfill a calling the Lord has placed in my life. More than that, I get to be a small part of the plans the Lord has for theirs.”
“This just seems like way too much fun to be a job!”