Lindsey Settlemire

Staff Writer

Florida Southern’s cheerleading squad is opening their arms to some special guests this week.

The cheerleaders will be hosting the 2015 “Mini Mocs” Youth Cheerleading clinic on Feb. 1 at Jenkins Field House.

During the clinic, kids between the ages of 5 to 12 years old will be given the opportunity to learn some Southern cheers as well as a dances from the squad.

“I think we may have more fun performing with them than they do with us,” Maddie Tamburino, senior cheer captain said. “We are always so proud of the kids and you can get attached to them in about 10 minutes. It is an honor to share Moc pride with local youth.”

The clinic serves as a fundraiser for the squad, but Tamburino says that is not the only thing the cheerleaders are looking to get out of the youth program.

“I hope the kids learn a sense of community, and the joy of being a team,” Tamburino said.

Coach Teri Richardson is also looking forward to one of her favorite events of the season, which continues a long-standing tradition held in the spring each year by the cheerleading squad at Florida Southern.

It is only Richardson’s second season with the Mocs cheerleaders, as well as her first full season.

Richardson has fond memories from last year’s clinic that she was able to attend in her short time at Florida Southern.

“I love to see how excited the girls get, and see just how in awe they are over the big girls,” Richardson said.

Participants will be able to show off their new skills for their parents the day of the event, as well as for the crowd at halftime during the men’s basketball game on Feb. 7  with the college squad.

As for the squad, with Richardson as their coach they have been able to hold tryouts both in the fall as well as the spring to provide an opportunity for those who may have transferred into the college.

This year the squad is composed of nine new cheerleaders as well as eight returners, and many of the fresh faces believe that the squad is moving in a positive direction.

“We have a good mix of different ages on the team, some girls are freshmen but there are equal numbers of sophomores, juniors and seniors on the team so I feel that the knowledge and team goals are being passed down gradually and that the older girls are doing a very good job at keeping our team strong,” Liz Grady, freshman cheerleader said.

The Florida Southern cheerleaders will be seen cheering on the Mocs’  Feb. 11 at the Women’s Basketball game at 5:30 p.m. and during the men’s basketball game at 7:30 p.m.


Photo courtesy of Teri Richardson