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Lots to cheer about — but no cheerleaders

Posted: September 25, 2008 9:37 p.m.
Updated: November 27, 2008 5:00 a.m.

College of the Canyons football fans have a lot to cheer about lately with the Cougars’ three blow-out victories against opponents in the first three games of the season.

However, the fans have no cheerleaders to lead them in their victory chants or to perform stunts during the games. Due to a lack of funding, organization and vision, the cheer program just wasn’t up to par with other COC programs, according to COC Athletic Director Chuck Lyon.

“The program, in my opinion, wasn’t up to the standards that we’re used to,” Lyon said. “So we basically suspended the program so I could research what is happening at other colleges in the state and see how we could develop a program COC could be proud of.”

No cheerleaders were selected this year in order to give the program a year off so that it could be evaluated.

“At COC, our level of excellence is very high. We expect our programs across the board to be of the highest quality,” Lyon said. “I would expect the same of our cheer leading program.”

Cheerleading has evolved beyond just cheering for a certain sport into being a sport on its own, Lyon said. Today’s cheerleaders perform stunts and travel to competitions, and Lyon wants COC’s cheer squad to be on the level with other college squads.

Lyon would also like the cheer squad to cheer at away games, instead of just the home games as in the past. This would involve transportation and funding issues, but it is something he plans to look into, he said.

“These girls and guys work really hard, and why do all that for just five Saturday nights? It’s just not practical,” Lyon said.

Last year’s cheer advisor, Dana Lindvall, did an excellent job with the limited resources that were available, Lyon said.

“Dana did way above and beyond what she was being compensated for,” he said. “I would like to see our cheer coordinator put on the same level as an adjunct coach.”

After taking some time to study the cheer situation, Lyon may decide that COC simply won’t have a cheer program.

A lot of community colleges don’t have a cheer squad and if they do, it’s usually not part of the athletic department, he said.

“We may decide that we did the right thing, and that we shouldn’t have a program, or we’ll decide to bring the program back and make it better,” Lyon said.


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