(THE PICKET)- The Shepherd Rams cheerleading team brought home gold medals after gaining the Grand Champion title for the first time in their national competition on the weekend of March 12 and 13. The Grand Champion award is presented to the highest scoring college team regardless of division.
Coached by Lindsey Bordovsky, her squad, led by seniors Shayla Evans and Brittney Moore, broke ahead of Gannon University, redeeming themselves from a .05 point loss last year.
The point spread between the Rams and the second place team was more than 3 points. Shepherd was more than 4 points ahead of the third team, giving them the clear title.
“The winner isn’t just the team that doesn’t drop a stunt; a team receives points for difficulty and technique for every component (partner stunt, pyramid, tumbling, jumps, baskets, etc.) and it helps prevent a team that executes an easy routine from beating a team with much more difficulty, even if a stunt might fall,” Bordovsky said in an email.
“Our partner stunt difficulty score was between .30-.50 points higher than our competition. That has to be my proudest accomplishment from this past weekend,” she said in an email.
The Rams choreographed and learned their competition routine in July and practiced in between working on game material. Due to recent fund-raising efforts the cheer team has increased their equipment availability going from having four mats to practice on in the past, to seven, making it easy for them to have competition-like practices.
The Shepherd University cheer team will compete again at a national event on April 2 and 3 in Ocean City, Maryland. In previous years, James Madison University, Rider University and Penn State were in attendance. At this competition, the Grand Champions take home $1,000.
Cheerleading tryouts are being held April 23-24 for the 2016-2017 squad. More information can be found on the Shepherd website.