The off-campus Rexburg Cheer and Stunt team encourage students to show their BYU-Idaho school spirit by coming to tryouts on Jan. 16.
Jessica Miller, a senior studying child development and the founder of Rexburg Cheer and Stunt, brought the team together after BYU-I’s cheer team ended in the Fall 2018 semester. The team will hold tryouts on Jan 16. with applications due on Jan. 11.
For Miller, cheer moves beyond the traditional stereotypes involving drama and becomes a way to encourage others.
“Cheerleading has been something that is a part of me; it’s like who I am,” Miller said. “I feel like cheerleading often has a bad rep of girls that are super mean but cheer for me helps me to express my love for uplifting others. We just love bringing spirit and camaraderie to the campus.”
The first half of the semester will allow them to prepare routines for the second half where they will begin to cheer for an off-campus soccer team.
“We actually collaborate with the Madison Dragons, another off-campus club of BYU-Idaho students here in Rexburg,” Miller said. “They play soccer, so they travel to BYU, they travel to UVU, USU and play all those teams, and we travel with them and cheer for them.”
A local gym, AirBound Tumbling and Cheer, allows them to use the facilities for practices. The owner, Valarae Allred, views it as a way to bring the community together and involve BYU-I students.
Miller has made it a goal to have university standards in place even though it isn’t officially endorsed by the university. They begin each practice with a prayer and a spiritual thought. She feels that it helps bring the group together as they become stronger disciples of Christ.
This cheer team became one of the key reasons Adessa Judd, a sophomore studying psychology, transferred from Southern Virginia University to BYU-I.
“I didn’t want to go to a school where I couldn’t be on a cheer team, but as soon as I found out this one had one, I transferred here,” Judd said. “I like that it keeps me active, and I really like all the people on the team and the way that we bond, especially here. There’s no drama like there is in high school and that’s another reason why I left my other school.”
Chandler Tenney, a junior studying business management, originally joined the campus team but wants to continue to participate with Rexburg Cheer and Stunt this semester.
“I came to college not knowing anything about cheer,” Tenney said. “Students totally should join the team, especially guys that have no clue what to do with cheer ’cause I had no idea about cheer when I first started, so they should totally come try out or check it out.”
Gensen Stocking, a freshman studying biology, plans on trying out for the team this semester. He had wanted to participate in high school cheer with his friends but it didn’t work.
“Since it’s offered here, I thought I’d try it out and see if I like it,” Stocking said.
More information about the team, along with tryout information, can be found on their website.