Drury Cheer Team 2nd at Cheerleading Championships

by Kate Bequette. Originally published in the Drury Mirror and re-published with permission.

Drury’s cheer team attended the University World Cup Cheerleading Championships in Orlando, Florida on Jan. 19, 2019. After many impressive stunts, the team placed second in Division ll.

Ashley Parnell, spirit coordinator and head cheer coach, has dedicated nine years to coaching Drury Cheer and is immensely proud of the team’s achievements thus far.

“Coming in second was amazing. Simply amazing! I’m extremely proud! This season has been extremely successful. Our strength relies on their ‘we’ philosophy and not a ‘me’ mindset. Our leaders are servant leaders, and with this mindset they are always thinking about their teammates first and what they can do to bring up their family,” said Parnell.

Photo from Drury University Cheer facebook page

As the team has grown throughout the season, they have created a special bond that Coach Parnell believes is truly one of a kind.

“When everyone went home for Christmas break, our athletes only took four personal days over Christmas with their families, and we started two-a-day practices and fine-tuning our routines. This is when you start to see them come together. It’s always an honor coaching hardworking athletes, and it is a privilege to be a part of their success,” said Parnell.

Along with busy school days, the cheer team has an intense practice schedule. Drury cheer is as dedicated as ever.

“I don’t know if the community realizes the practice schedule, game commitments and community involvement and volunteering they do. A typical week consists of many early morning workouts, practices from 5:30-8 p.m., and sometimes double header basketball games. With their basketball game commitments and practices they are extremely busy,” said Parnell.

The season is far from over for our cheer team. There is a lot in store for Drury faculty, students, and the cheerleaders to look forward to this year.

“I’m really looking forward to cheering our basketball teams into post-season play and watching our females play in STUNT matches and tournaments. We have STUNT for our female athletes, along with skill development for our males. We will continue to cheer at the men and women’s basketball games. We’re excited to continue to cheer both team on in conference play, tournaments and post-season play,” said Parnell.

To keep up with Drury Cheer, check out their page on drurypanthers.com or their Facebook page, Drury University Cheerleading.

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