Students and faculty at LCU say they see a difference at Chap sporting events with the addition last fall of a cheerleading team. The new team is putting in hours and hours of practice every week to get to competition shape. At the same time, they’re doing their part to enhance the overall experience of game time at LCU.
How it started
In December 2017, Director of Athletics Paul Hise announced that LCU would add a competitive cheerleading program. Hise said that bringing cheerleading back to LCU would enhance the overall experience of sporting events and support the school’s NCAA Division II aspirations.
Soon after came the announcement that Kayli Durham would be the head cheerleading coach Durham, who is from Lubbock, spent three years cheering at Dallas Baptist University and cheered competitively at the national level.
How it’s going
The idea to create a team took form quickly. Durham had a tough task to recruit and find cheerleaders for the team in time for the fall 2018 season.
Fortunately, some of the future cheerleaders were already attending LCU. One of them is a junior Taylor Marquette, a Digital Media Arts major from Lubbock, Texas. Taylor started cheering when she was four and has cheered competitively almost her whole life.
When asked about the experience of cheering for LCU, Taylor said, “ It’s been a great experience so far. It has given me a chance to get back into cheerleading. I feel more motivated not only for cheering but also in school. I have made many friends for life by cheering for LCU.”
Currently the cheerleading team is focused on cheering for the basketball games, pep rallies, and other school sanctioned events that call for cheerleaders. In the future, the team plans to move into cheerleading competitions.
Making an impact
Many LCU students say having a cheer team for the sporting events is bringing a new feeling to the games. Senior Garrett Loius, a Humanities major from Denver City, Texas, said, “I have seen a change in the attendance numbers of the events where the cheerleaders are present. There seems to be a little bit more energy at the games now.”
Coaches see the difference, too.
“I think it is a great joy to see the girls cheering and bringing more excitement to the games,” said Gary Belt, senior associate athletic director and golf coach “The teams they are cheering for seem to benefit from the extra support. I am excited to see what is next for the team.”
For questions about the LCU cheer program, you can email Coach Durham at Kayli.Durham@lcu.edu.