GREENVILLE, Pa.—For the first time in nearly a decade, The Thiel College Tomcats are tumbling back on the competition mat.
The first official competition is on Saturday, Feb. 1 at Penn-State Behrend.
Since the team has not competed since 2011, cheer coach Randy Burnett said, he wants the team to “put their best foot forward” and get “our name out there again and looking like an established program.”
The cheer team participation has been increasing since Burnett’s hire in 2018. The roster has grown from 14 to more than 30 athletes with 13 of those members participating on the newly-reactivated competitive cheer team. For some competitors, it will be the first time stepping out on a mat in a competitive environment like that. Nonetheless, Burnett has them prepared for the occasion.
“Just being proud of who they are and their team, that is one thing I want every kid to be proud of, " Burnett said.
Burnett earned a bachelor’s degree in communication from Clarion University in 2012. Burnett was hired as the cheer and dance coach at Thiel College in the summer of 2018.
His efforts have not gone unnoticed. He was recognized by the National Cheerleader Association as one of the top five rookie instructors to watch recently.
“I would like to thank Thiel College for giving me the opportunity to grow the program as much as I have in the past year and a half. I’m honored to even be recognized by NCA, but also from my peers and other coaches I’ve worked with this past year,” Burnett said.
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