|Large Coed Cheer Team||Small Coed Cheer Team|
Welcome to the home of champions where students push themselves to the limit on the mat, at the game, and in the classroom. We appreciate your interest and wish you luck while deciding on the best cheerleading program and university for you!
Cheerleading as been a part of the SFA Spirit landscape for over 80 years and serves as the ambassador for spirit and Lumberjack pride at SFA. Made up of two squads; the Large Coed and Small Coed plus the Lumberjack and Ladyjack mascots, these students participate in Lumberjack football, volleyball and basketball games as well as compete at the NCA Collegiate National Championships. Like the teams that they support, the SFA Spirit creed is to work hard and be the best. Both are nationally ranked and competitive.
Each squad has 25-35 cheerleaders, but teams do vary in size from year to year. Both teams cheer all home football games and 8-12 cheerleaders from Large Coed are selected to cheer all away football games. There are also a few away football games that selected cheerleaders from both teams will attend. The Large Coed cheers all home men's basketball games and Small Coed cheers all home women's basketball. Both teams cheer at selected home volleyball games. SFA Spirit Squad members are there for homecoming, in the battle for Chief Caddo, and in the community. They bleed purple and know that a victory may be up to them.
The SFA Cheer Program is not only a collection of some of the best cheerleaders from all over the country that make up amazing teams, but it is also a collection of individuals that range from current team members to alumni, that consider the program like family. So if you are ready to be a part of something special, look at trying out for one of our teams.
SIDE NOTE FOR POTENTIAL CHEER CANDIDATES
It may be in the best interest of potential cheer team members to send in preliminary videos of skills so that the SFA Coaching Staff can provide feedback on the direction candidates should take, what areas to work on, and improvements that need to be made specifically before actual tryouts. These videos will not be judged as tryout videos.
If you have a video of you cheering (stunting, tumbling, etc.) send a link to firstname.lastname@example.org or you can mail a DVD to:
Stephen F. Austin State University
Office of Student Affairs - Cheerleading
222 Vista Drive
Student Center Room 1.203
Nacogdoches, Texas 75962
SFA CHEER PARENT AND ALUMNI INFORMATION
The SFA Cheer Program has started a newsletter for our Parents and Alumni. If your email is correct in our database, this was emailed to you, but if it is not, the newsletter can be found below. If you wish to be put on our mailing list, please contact T.J. Maple at email@example.com or Jason Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SPIRIT BEAT - Volume 1, Issue 1 (October 1, 2010)
SPIRIT BEAT - Volume 1, Issue 2 (October 10, 2010)
SPIRIT BEAT - Volume 1, Issue 3 (Double Issue, November 2010)
SPIRIT BEAT - Volume 1, Issue 4 (March 2011)
SPIRIT BEAT - Volume 2, Issue 1 (October 2011)
SPIRIT BEAT - Volume 2, Issue 2 (Homecoming Special, October 2011)
SPIRIT BEAT - Volume 2, Issue 3 (February 2012)
SPIRIT BEAT - Volume 2, Issue 4 (March 2012)Alumni:
If you have any updates, announcements, or just information that you would like to have published in our newsletters, please complete the Alumni Information Form (link below).
In 1989, The SFA Cheer Program, which consisted of one coed squad, began attending collegiate cheerleading camps hosted by the National Cheerleaders Association. The squad then attended their first NCA Collegiate Competition in Dallas, Texas in January of 1990, under head cheerleader Jeff Dickerson, who would become the first official coach for the SFA Cheerleading Program the following year. In their first year of competition, out of the 26 teams competing, SFA finished a disappointing 26th. The program, however, continued to build, improve, and surpass expectations as they quickly moved up in rank each year at the national level. The SFA Cheerleading Program won its first NCA Collegiate National Championship in 1994 under Coach Jeff Dickerson. This would be the first of an amazing collection held by the SFA Cheer Program.
The second NCA Collegiate National Championship was won in 1997 under Coach Craig Dickerson. In 2000, under Coach Matthew Sturko, SFA Cheer won its third NCA Collegiate National Championship, as well as bringing home the Grand National Championship title. Also in 2000, SFA introduced the All-Girl squad to the cheerleading program, coached by Pepe Bridges. SFA Coed Cheer brought home NCA Collegiate National Championship titles in 2001 and 2003 under Coach Matthew Sturko. The SFA Coed squad won three National Championships under Coach Brad Patterson (2004, 2005, and 2006, Assistant Coach Trisha O'Connor). In 2006, the All-Girl program was replaced with the current Small Coed squad, coached by Trisha O'Connor, Assistant Coach Doug Daigle. In 2007, the SFA Large Coed was awarded its ninth NCA National Championship under Head Coach Trisha O'Connor and Assistant Coach Doug Daigle. The SFA Large Coed squad won two more National Championships under Head Coach Trisha O'Connor, and Assistant Coach Scott Holland (2008 and 2010). The Small Coed squad program won its first NCA Collegiate National Championship in 2009 under Head Coach Trisha O'Connor and Assistant Coach Scott Holland. In 2011, both the Large Coed and Small Coed Cheerleading Squads brought home national titles, coached by Head Coach Trisha O'Connor and Assistant Coach Jason Williams.
The SFA Cheerleading Program also has its share of Partner Stunt National titles. The first two NCA Collegiate National titles were awarded to Brad Patterson and Kylie Faseler in 2002 and 2003. In 2004, Garrin Gosnell and Melanie Gomez captured SFA's first UCA Collegiate National title for partner stunts. Matt Vanover and Veronica Gomez earn the third NCA Collegiate National title for partner stunts in 2005. In 2006, Justin Kelley and Meghan O'Connor became the second couple in history to capture both the NCA and UCA Collegiate National partner stunt titles. In 2008, Tim Wegner and Ashley Tucker captured the NCA Collegiate Partner Stunt title, and then in 2009, they placed first in the NCA Collegiate Open Partner Stunt competition. The couple won their third partner stunt title in 2010 at the UCA Partner Stunt competition. In 2011, Tony Castro and Candace Hoernemann won an NCA Collegiate Partner Stunt title for SFA. For only the third time in history, the second time in SFA history, in 2012 Alec Heffron and Alli Pagnotta brought home both the UCA and NCA Collegiate Nationl titles.
SFA hosts recruit weekends and workshops designed for anyone interested in becoming at cheerleader at the collegiate level. Workshops are for individuals to experience what SFA Cheer has to offer. Participants will get the chance to work out with Lumberjack Cheer Team members, learn new skills, attend an SFA football or basketball game, or take a campus tour, and gain valuable experience with some of the most talented cheerleaders in the country.
Clinics are not mandatory, but are highly encouraged.
Please pre-register by the Monday prior to the clinics. Registration forms and participation waivers can be found under each event with the additional information. Walk ups will be accepted, but pre-registration is preferred.
These events are open to any cheerleaders interested in the SFA Cheer Program, or just wanting to get some collegiate cheer experience. No invitation is required, and there is not a certain number of participants allowed to attend each clinic.
Participants will tumble and stunt with current SFA Cheer Team Members, so bringing partners or stunt groups to any of these clinics is not necessary.
All clinics are open to friends and family that would like to come and watch.
Additional information concerning costs, clinic details, dress, etc. are available with the registration form and participant waiver link.
CHEER TRYOUTS WILL BE HELD SATURDAY, MAY 11 AND SUNDAY, MAY 12, 2013.
(all dates and practice times are mandatory)
All aspects of SFA tryouts will be held on the SFA Campus in the HPE Complex in the Shelton Gym.
Females - Plain black or purple sports bra, black spandex shorts, cheer shoes, and hair fixed ½ up ½ down and fashioned out of your face, and ribbon/bow of your choice. For Saturday evening and Sunday practices, hair will need to be curled.
Males - Plain black or purple t-shirt, black gym shorts, cheer/athletic shoes, and no hats
All potential cheerleaders are expected to portray a collegiate image when trying out for SFA. Body piercings and jewelry of any kind, extreme hair styles and/or colors are not acceptable at tryouts or during the year as an SFA Cheerleader.
All cheer candidates must remove all piercings and other jewelry prior to arrival at tryouts.
Saturday evening and Sunday tryout practices: Females will need to have hair curled, and wear the ribbon/bow of your choice. Males: Will need to be clean shaven. All potential candidates in the final rounds of tryouts will wear uniform components for tryout purposes. These uniforms will be returned at the end of the session.
GENERAL TRYOUT REQUIREMENTSLarge Coed
- Standing back tuck (jump to tuck combinations preferred)
- Standing backhandspring back tuck (jump combos preferred)
- Toss to hands liberty
- Complete the stunt and/or tumbling position requirements
- Fight song taught at tryouts (includes a standing tuck, toss chair, and a walk-up extension)
- Females: All females are required to try our with a minimum of a round off backhandspring layout.
- Toe touch back tuck (multiple jump combos preferred)
- Toe touch back handspring tuck (multiple combos preferred)
- Round off back handspring layout
- Toss liberty
- Full-Up stunt that must end in an advanced body position, shows flexibility, and doubles down
- Optional stunt, which can be a combination or sequence of two stunts
- Fight song taught at tryouts (includes a standing tuck, group chair, and ½-up extension)
Large Coed Stunting Position
- Full up stunt
- Two handed rewind
One of these two stunts must be to two hands, end in an advanced body position that shows flexibility, and doubles down
- Optional stunt, which can be a combination or sequence of two stunts
Large Coed Tumbling Position
- Round off back handspring full
- Standing tumbling pass that ends in a full
- An additional tumbling pass with two or more elite skills that ends in a full
ELIGIBILITY TO TRYOUT
- Cheerleader Application & Application Agreement
- Copy of SFA Acceptance Letter
- Must be accepted to SFA as a full time student or must have applied and submitted your transcripts and test scores for admissions.
- $25.00 Non-Refundable Cheer Application Fee
- Close-up Photograph (can also include action photographs)
- 3 Letters of Recommendation
- High School or Transfer School Transcripts
- Waiver (to be uploaded at a later date), signed by a parent if you are less than 18
* If you do not have ALL of this information, you will NOT be allowed to participate in the tryout. *
* Please download and print our PACKET for more information and the above forms. *
Each cheer team candidate will be notified in person or via e-mail as to the tryouts results shortly after the actual tryout process. The allocation of scholarships may not be fully determined until after tryout results are given, and those decisions are made by the Head Coach and coaching staff.
Positions will be finalized at the end of the last tryout practice on Sunday. Team members will then have a meeting and practice from 4:00-6:00 PM Sunday evening that is mandatory to everyone attending live tryouts.
Anyone not able to attend ALL dates and times listed above wishing to try out for SFA, must submit a video no later than the Friday prior to tryouts. All forms and application fee are still required for anyone trying out by video. Please see the video tryout requirements, listed in the tryout packet, to ensure you have all the information needed. This method of trying out for SFA is accepted, but not highly recommended.
ADVANTAGES TO TRYING OUT IN PERSON
Trying out in person will show that you are committed to attending Stephen F. Austin State University.
Potential cheer team members will be able to work and tryout with some of the most talented cheerleaders in the nation.
Cheer team candidates will have the chance to meet and interact with the coaching staff and current SFA Cheer team members.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Who is eligible to try out for SFA Cheerleading?
Incoming freshman or transfer students who have been admitted into the University, and full-time undergrad or graduate students who are in good standing with the University
- Does SFA Cheer offer any practice sessions or opportunities for potential team members to workout with the teams?
- ABSOLUTELY!! SFA Cheer offers a variety of ways for potential team members to get to know the program better. In both the fall and spring semesters, SFA offers recruit weekends for cheer candidates to come and practice with the teams. We also offer a pre-tryout workshop in the spring a few weeks prior to tryouts to get potential team members a little more acquainted with the program. All this information can be found above, or call 936-468-1604 for more details.
- Do I have to be accepted to Stephen F. Austin before I can tryout?
We prefer that all candidates present a copy of your SFA acceptance letter prior to tryouts. We will, however, accept proof of acceptance in the form of a letter or phone call from admissions if this letter has not been received prior to tryouts. ALL POTENTIAL CHEER TEAM CANDIDATES SHOULD APPLY TO SFA NO LATER THAN MARCH 2013.
- Are the SFA Cheer tryouts open or closed to friends and family?
Both. Friday and Saturday morning/afternoon tryout sessions will be closed to the public. Saturday and evening and Sunday practices will remain open. At that time, anyone is welcome to come to watch cheerleading and mascot tryouts at SFA, but must remain in the spectator viewing area at all times.
- Do the squads consist of Coed teams or are they all female?
Our University recognizes two squads, one is full coed, consisting of 15-20 males and 10-15 females and the other is small coed, consisting of 6-10 males and 20-30 females.
- Do your teams compete?
YES! Both SFA Cheer Teams compete at the NCA Collegiate National Championship Competition in Daytona Beach, Florida in April, as well as the Spirit Celebration Competition in Denton, Texas in March. The teams also perform at three show-offs during the national season at SFA, Navarro College, and Southern Methodist University.
- Does SFA offer any partial or full scholarships for cheerleaders?
Yes, SFA offers several partial scholarships to both squads. Amounts are based on seniority and coaching staff discretion. All out of state students on both the Large and Small Coed not on alternate status will receive out-of-state waiver scholarships.
- Does SFA Cheer offer any services to cheer teams like clinics, tryout judgings, choreography of routines or pep rallies, private coaching, etc.?
SFA Cheer offers a multitude of services to school cheer and all star cheerleading squads, as well as individuals. We offer clinics each semester to cheerleaders of all ages. We also offer choreography and private coaching for cheerleading routines, competition or pep rally, as well as private coaching for any cheerleaders who would like individualized help. SFA Cheer can also assist coaches' with tryouts by judging or teaching tryout material for school and all-star programs. You can find all of this information at the right on this page, or you can contact the spirit office at 936-468-1604 for more details.
- What are the responsibilities of being an SFA Cheerleader?
SFA Cheerleading is a major time commitment for both the fall and spring semesters. The cheerleading year begins in June with our first practice, and does not end until May, after the new squad has been chosen.
Each team practices 5 days per week, for two hours, and has additional required study hall hours. Fitness and extra practices may also be added as needed.
Spirit squads cheer at all home football games, selected volleyball games, home men's and women's basketball games, perform at various on-campus pep rallies, perform for various community and school events, and participate in volunteer service hours.
- What are the additional benefits to being an SFA Cheerleader?
Partial scholarships for all team members, all cheerleaders not on alternate status will receive out-of-state waivers to attend the University, ability to pre-register for classes, shoes and equipment, meal stipend when traveling, and tickets for all home football and basketball games.
- How many members are typically on your teams?
25-35 cheerleaders on each team, plus one Lumberjack and one Ladyjack mascot (these numbers do not include alternate positions).
- What type of support staff will be offered to the SFA cheerleaders?
Cheerleaders will have access to the athletic trainers, strength and conditioning coaches, academic supports (advisors, tutors and private study halls), counseling services, and much more!
- Will I need to schedule my classes around practices?
Yes. You will be advised in your departmental area of study. You will then need to look at classes offered and put together a schedule that works around our practice schedule.