Thiel Cheerleading Trip to Daytona

By: Tyler Hartz

February 3rd, 2023: Let’s backtrack a little bit to August of 2021 when the Thiel College cheerleaders competed in an online competition against a plethora of teams. The cheerleaders of Thiel performed so well that day they finished in first place in the eastern division, after competing against teams such as Auburn University at Montgomery, The College of the Holy Cross, the University of Florida, and more. This was the Tomcat’s first national bid in school history.

Getting a bid to nationals in cheerleading is like going to the playoffs in most sports, but this was on a national level. The girls traveled to Daytona Beach, Florida in April of 2021 where they placed 2nd in the Spirit Rally division. After returning home from Florida, Coach Randle Burnett said in an interview “Being on the competition floor is one of the most amazing experiences you will ever have, and for 2 minutes and 15 seconds, you own the floor, and all your work for the year is showcased in hopes of a zero-deduction routine.” Coach Burnett, who was hired at Thiel back in 2018, was a former member of the cheerleading team at Thiel during his days in college.

A local to Greenville, and going to Thiel, hiring Coach Burnett just seemed like the logical thing to do. Since the day he got ahold of this team he has done some impressive things. He has taken his Thiel team to nationals in two straight years, the first being in 2022, and the second trip coming in April of 2023. With another senior class now graduating, Coach Randle was now put to the task of recruiting and bringing in a new talented group to replace the ones he had lost. In the incoming class of 2022, there were 10 girls and 1 boy.

With the national event in Florida just two short months away, Senior Captain, Madison Jaszemski, said “the talent and drive on this team is unlike what I’ve seen in my four years here at Thiel. I could not be prouder to take the floor this April with my closest friends by my side.” In August of 2022, the girls traveled to Gannon University for the NCA Collegiate Crowd Segment where they received first place and a silver bid again for nationals, which is the second time in school history. Jaszemski also said, “we have been working hard and we cannot wait to compete again in Daytona, and hopefully this time we are able to bring home the first-place trophy.”

We are still a rough two months away until the girls travel down to Florida and compete at nationals, but they have stayed committed to practicing 4 to 6 days a week. They also have one final stop, when they travel to the college of Penn State Behrend in Erie, Pennsylvania. They will be competing on February 11th at 12:00 P.M. This will be a great opportunity for the team to perform their national’s routine in front of some judges for the first time and get any last-minute kinks out. The cheerleaders are beyond excited and are up to the task of competing again

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