The spring semester at LCU began with rumors of a cheerleading team being added in the fall of 2018. Social media blew up as students questioned whether or not this was a real team and their feelings towards it. Shortly after, LCU officially confirmed the new competitive cheerleading team, to begin in fall 2018.
In a recent interview, Paul Hise, LCU director of athletics and Kayli Durham, newly hired cheerleading coach, answered some of the more pressing questions from LCU students.
Was cheerleading a solo endeavor or was LCU looking for new sports to add to the athletics program?
Hise: I think the athletic department is always on the lookout for things that can benefit campus and add a different aspect or dynamic to sports.
Why add a new sport instead of investing in the ones already started?
Hise: When I started here in 2004, LCU only had six sports. Now, entering 2018, it has 15, and we are always looking for more ways to provide opportunities for the community of LCU to be involved in athletics.
Now that LCU is in [NCAA] Division 2, most schools of this same stature sponsor cheerleading teams, and we believe that LCU is ready for some more school spirit and competition. The team will mostly accompany the volleyball and basketball teams but will be seen at other school-sponsored events as well.
While we could continue adding money into sports we already have, I think we’re at a really good place where we can use this new cheerleading team to encourage the other sports and also include more students with different talents.
How many students will this new team benefit?
Durham: This team will be made up of 12-15 students. Though cheerleading is not a NCAA sport, we will compete in the National Cheerleading Association.
What are some of the requirements for trying out for the team?
Durham: Students on the team should be of good academic standing and are held to the same standards that other LCU athletes are held to.
Hise: There are some scholarships available to the students on the cheerleading team but probably not as much as for some of the other teams.
What is some advice you would give to students wanting to try out?
Durham: Try it! What do you have to lose? If you’ve done cheerleading in the past this is probably an awesome opportunity. But [if not and]you’re interested, it doesn’t hurt to try.
What are you most excited for when coming on staff and leading the new LCU cheerleading team?
Durham: I’m excited to see what LCU can do. I hope that cheerleading will serve as a way to recruit other students to LCU. I hope that the students on this team will be ambassadors and show their outstanding school pride in their academics as well as their everyday attitude.
Coach Durham encouraged everyone interested in trying out to contact her at Kayli.Durham@lcu.edu.