By Chase Harmon, Business Graduate Advisor
I personally began my cheerleading career in 2009 at Northwestern Oklahoma State University. I then continued at Oklahoma State University from 2011-2015, where I earned my undergraduate and graduate degrees. Along with offering eight years of cheerleading experience and nine years of coaching experience, I have been a part of several national and world championship teams and programs:
- 2012-2015 NCA Collegiate National Champion with OSU
- 2012 NCA All-Star Champion with Twist and Shout
- 2012 NCA All-Star World Champion with Twist and Shout
- 2014 Top Gun Stunt Winner at NCA College Camp
This past year, I had the opportunity to join the OSU cheer coaching staff as an assistant coach. I coached alongside head coach, Lindsay Salliotte and assistant coach, Lauren Manning. The OSU cheer team consisted of two teams this past year, a large coed and all-girl team. Our teams practice three times a week for at least two hours each practice. At OSU we consider ourselves more competitive than other schools, as we’re not just there to cheer at games, but to compete in Daytona, Florida, for the NCA National Title.
The pandemic brought us many challenges to overcome, including virtual tryouts, wearing masks while tumbling and stunting, social distancing and even more outside of practice.
In April, our teams went to Daytona for the NCA Collegiate National Championship. The previous year, due to the pandemic, the championship was canceled. After a long year of waiting, the teams could finally attend the competition. The teams worked extremely hard in and outside the gym to be successful, especially this year with COVID protocols and the rules they had to follow.
This was the first year I was attending NCA Nationals as a coach, and I was just as nervous as the athletes. The last time I was at the NCA Nationals I was an athlete for OSU. This time was even more special as I watched the teams grow as one, learn new skills and overcome many trials. As a coach, that is more than you could ask for. By the end of our trip, both of our teams came home with trophies and I could not be prouder. Our large coed team came home with first place, and our all-girls team came home with second place. Both had amazing performances and both are well deserved. Us coaches and the athletes are motivated for next season.