The Cheer program at Reinhardt University has recently made a comeback on campus. The program has been a part of Reinhardt history since the 1982-83 school year, around the same time Reinhardt started its first basketball team.
In 2012-2013, Reinhardt expanded the Cheer squad by offering scholarships to its athletes. One scholarship recipient was senior cheer captain Brianna Russell.
“I was one of the three who signed and received a scholarship from coach Jennifer Fulghom who was the cheer coach at the time,” Russell said. “ My freshman year was our building year for competition along with football. During my sophomore year [2013-2014], my team worked many fundraisers and all-star competitions to raise money to get on the road to nationals in Daytona Beach, Fla. Coach Fulghom rented the team a bus and she personally drove us all the way to camp in North Carolina where we competed against eight other squads to try to win a bid for nationals. We did an amazing job and got second place. We earned the silver bid which [paid] many of our expenses. We finally raised the money and [were] eligible to compete in the 2014 NCA [National Cheer Association]. Reinhardt University cheerleaders won fourth in the nation for the NAIA conference.”
After the national competition, Fulghom got married and started a family.
“Luckily coach Bryan [Tillman] stepped into the coaching spot,” Russell said.
The Cheer team makes appearances during every football and basketball game.
Junior cheer captain Aliyah Reeves explained the advantages of being a cheerleader.
”The best part about cheer is the memories and the friendships on the team, activities we have done, the AIDS walk, Trunk or Treat and pep rallies. I’ve been on the team for three years. This is our year of redemption. We are trying to start over and become a better team for spirit and competitive,” Reeves said.
In addition to supporting Reinhardt sports teams, Tillman has started taking steps to prepare his squad to compete in competition cheer events in the near future.
Written By: Madeline Hervey.