Players tackling. Band playing. Belles dancing. Fans shouting for the lack thereof cheering.
Ending the Spring 2011 semester, a final deci– sion was made to no longer having cheerleaders.
“It was a division deci– sion to move in this direction,” said Vincent Nguyen, Director of Student Life and Involvement. “It was important to consider the current status of the college and of the State of Texas. It was probably one of the most difficult decision that I’ve ever been a part of.”
For the students who tried out for the team and made it, their schol– arships will be honored. The only catch was not being able to cheer as planned.
“Due to the cut of the program, we’ve decided to extend an olive branch to the ones that tried out and made the team,” said Nguyen. “We were delighted to honor each one of those members that tried out to retain the scholarship.”
Being without the cheerleaders, the football coaches are unsure of how their players will react.
“Ooh that’s tough,” said Ryan Mahon, Associate Head Foot- ball Coach. “Each individual player getting in their psyche,
I think each kid gets psyched up for a game definitely. Like I said, it’s always nice to have cheerleaders out there and their support, in general, is a good thing to have.”
The timeline is to get the program reinstated for Fall 2012.
“We want to ensure that we leave no stone unturned moving for- ward,” said Nguyen. “We want to find the right
coach, that will be the right fit, and that will provide strong Leadership in putting the TJC Cheerleaders back in Na– tional contention, as well as being a strong staple in the East Texas Community. We want to assure our college community that this is temporary, very temporary, but we want to make sure we do it right.” While looking for the right coach, over 60 students expressed interest in creating a new spirit organization.
“We’ve been working diligently with various campus organizations and departments to enhance our game day environment,” said Nguyen. “We are in the planning phases and we are excited to show you all the final prod- uct at no later than the beginning of conference play during the football season.”
Even though the sporting events will be different, we still have many other traditions to make up for the lack of cheerleaders.
“Enthusiasm, traditions, having people out there for you, the Belles, the band that we have which is a great band, and also the cheerleaders,” said Mahon. “TJC is a special place with those things.”