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Cheer team brings trophy back to the Hill

By Joshua Bennett
On February 28, 2013

Prairie View A&M University's cheer team got first place at the Worldwide Spirit Association Grand National Championship in New Orleans, La. on Feb. 24.
With 11, equally qualified, teams competing in the same group level out of a reported 200 teams at the competition the Panthers still managed to take the top spot.
"It felt good to win the championship, since we are underfunded and a lot of people don't recognize how good we are. I hope this brings us some recognition," said Jason Purvis, a junior human performance major.
The Panthers have competed in the competition before. In 2010 and 2011 they placed 8th and 5th respectively, while in 2012 they didn't qualify for competition.
Senior criminal justice major Dominique Jackson feels the new leadership and motivation the team has maintained in recent times contributed to their newfound success.
"It was hard to compete at a collegiate level back in the day, but ever since our new coach, Coach Lenny, came in we have reformed ourselves. We work harder, we do more difficult stunts, and we are more confident in our abilities," Jackson said.
The Panthers won the 5-6 groups level with a best score of 8.983 and only a 0.2-point deduction.
Difficulty makes up 50 percent of final score. This score is determined in two parts: the percentage of athletes executing the minimal required skill for their level of competition and the difficulty of the skill being performed.
Teams receive a difficulty score in five areas: basket tosses, partner stunts, pyramids, standing tumbling, and running tumbling.
"The team performed well in all the categories, I was very proud of them," said Shanté Moore, advisor to the team.
Execution makes up the other half of the final score. The execution score is subjective to each judge. The team completing the cleanest, most synchronized, and most exciting routine will score well in execution.
Teams receive an execution score in nine areas: basket toss, partner stunts, pyramids, standing tumbling, running tumbling, jumps, dance, formations/synchronization, and overall impression.
Senior education major and captain of the team for two years Jacobe Jackson chose to expand his role to make sure the team was still moving in the right direction.
"Without me the team would have never been A-1: I am the only one who cared about the team and made sure we got everything done on time. I am really proud of me for committing myself fully to the team," said Jackson.

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