The Texas State Spirit Team do more than cheer, tumble and act as the face of the athletics department when it comes to game day.
At the head of the squad is Spirit Program Coordinator Jocelyn Stephens, a member of the 2015-16 gold medal-winning U.S. National Cheer team.
“I care about them as people and I know that it’s not going to be game day forever,” Stephens said. “The one thing I really try and preach is that the discipline and standard in our program will help them in whatever they choose to do with their life. At the end of the day, I’m like a proud parent out there.”
Alexis Marshall, marketing junior and Texas State cheerleader, said Stephen’s success as a cheerleader and hands-on teaching method is a large reason why the team is so successful.
“It’s been amazing because if we don’t know what we’re doing, she’ll physically show us,” Marshall said. “We’ll see her doing back tucks. She’ll be working out, basically leading by example.”
Briana King, management senior and third-year cheerleader, said the squad is asked to do much more than game performances. The spirit program is available for appearances for a variety of events: Texas State sponsored events, school or non-profit organizations, as well as private and corporate performances.
“People don’t understand the depth of it, we are not just pretty faces,” King said. “We know that since we are the face of the school, we are its ambassadors.”
Hard work aside, the members of the squad enjoy their roles and walk away with satisfaction from providing that extra push teams and fans might need to up the energy in the stands and on the field, according to cheerleader and recreation administration junior Nolan Griffin.
“I feel like the spirit program as a whole just brings a new atmosphere to the game,” Griffin said. “It feels like we’re able to pull the spirit up from when it’s at a low level. We can bring it up more and get the crowd more involved.”