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The Echo
Taylor University, Upland, IN
Tuesday, April 16, 2024
The Echo
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"Let’s Go! TU!" Competitive cheer makes history

Trojans give multiple top-10 performances

Ranked No. 19, the competitive cheer team has made big waves at Taylor this year. 

In their first three events of 2024, their average score stood at 79.85, the 12th best across the United States. They also added top-10 scores in Taylor program history with each routine, one being the 4th best score of 83.45. 

In most recent competitions, the team outdid themselves at the Wildcat Invitational last Friday and Saturday, scoring the fifth and sixth-best scores in team history with numbers of 81.27 on Friday and 82.90 and 83.23 on Saturday. 

Junior Emma Barile said several things played into their high scores. 

“I think that our confidence and attitude and all the things we worked on the week before the competition really paid off and that’s why we got such a high score,” she said. 

Barile went on to say that Team Four has grown so much over the time she has been involved in the program. She said she is beyond proud of the work her team has put in this season. 

In his first season on the team, sophomore David Musser, a backspot, said the team has grown him as an athlete and a person. 

“It has been really good to be a part of a sport where there are no individual successes,” he said. “It’s true that successes and failures come as a team, and as a unit, and as a group. I really appreciate that. I think it has made me more collaborative as a person, even outside of cheer.” 

Barile also commented on the ways a competition is won or lost as a team. She said she, in particular, couldn’t do her job without the rest of her group stunt.

“I have to give all my credit to my group stunt. I couldn’t do it without them,” Barile said. “As a flyer, you have to do some things, but without a stable foundation, of trust in your group, the technique it takes and the control and the focus in the midst of screaming people and loud music.”

Before competitions and after practices, team prayer is a huge part of the cohesiveness of the team. Both Musser and Barile mentioned the part it plays in uniting the team.

“It’s really encouraging to know that the people on the team are not only working towards a common goal on the mat, in terms of putting out a routine that we are proud of,” Musser said. “But also we are also working towards the common goal of developing the fruits of the spirit in Christ.” 

He went on to say that because they all have a shared commitment to the Lord, the team has found ways to hold each other accountable, not only athletically, but relationally. They all expect to treat each other well and stay positive as a team. 

Both he and Barile added that they aspire to be a team that encourages and uplifts other competing teams as well. Musser said that prayer is a big part of it. 

“It helps us put in perspective that our successes and our failures on the mat aren’t the end all, be all, and also, it helps calm the nerves and put us in the right mind space,” he said.

Taylor will host their home competition, the Trojan Invitational, on Feb. 23 at 6 p.m. in Odle Arena.