By Carmen Krichbaum

Many people have been affected by the loss of the Malone football program. One of those groups is the cheerleaders. They no longer have Saturday games to cheer for. That means no more flips, stunts, and pep. No one told them they would only be cheering at basketball games. No one told them that last year would be their last season. The news of football being disbanded came as a shock to everyone. It especially had an impact on Malone’s cheer program. Alexa Riemenschneider is a sophomore psychology major on the cheer squad. Riemenschneider cheered in high school, but when she switched schools in 9th grade her new school did not have football. When asked about no longer having football cheer she said, “Just coming here for one year and getting a taste of what that was like again really made me realize how much I missed [football cheer].” Riemenschneider explained how the cheerleaders had no clue about the elimination of the football program. “We were already planning stuff for the next season,” Riemenscheneider said. Football cheer is much different than basketball cheer. Football is outside and basketball is inside, but they also have very different atmospheres. Riemenschneider explained how in football cheer they do a lot of crazy stunts that would not be safe to do so inside on then basketball court. “Just the feeling of being outside on the Hall of Fame Stadium was amazing. It is more crowded when we have to be iso close together in the gym,” said Riemenschneider. She also explained how with football fans are more engaged. With basketball, everyone is so close together that it just gets clustered. The cheerleaders will also be missed by the fans. Jenna Deal, a sophomore Bible and Theology major, will miss their peppiness. “I loved the student section at football games. Cheerleaders always help to hype up the students and do fun cheers,” said Deal. Last year, Charlie Grimes, the former director of athletics, commented about the cheer situation in the Aviso article “Cheerleaders struggle to adapt to the loss of the football program.” He mentioned that the cheerleaders would be encouraged to make public appearances at homecoming, volleyball games, and soccer games. This has yet to happen. The cheerleaders have not even had tryouts for their winter season. Even though they lost a whole season, the cheerleaders are still optimistic about their coming season. “Of course we are all devastated and we really wish we could have [football cheer] back, but the fact that we still have basketball season starting really soon, it just gives us a little distraction,” Riemenschneider said. “There is a light at the end of every tunnel and I just hope that this basketball season is the best one yet so that we can put more focus onto it.”

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