Cheer makes ‘a hit’ at national competitions

Squad brings home 2 titles from cheerleading championship


ULM now has World Cup champions on the bayou. The university’s cheer team placed first during the University World Cup Championship for cheerleading.

The team competed at the Universal Cheerleading Association National Championship on Jan. 17-19 in Orlando, Florida.

According to Patience Talley, ULM Cheerleading coach, the team placed eighth in the nation with zero deductions on their routine on the first day of the championship. Later, during the final day, the team competed in the University World Cup Championship. They placed first in Game Day as the top-scoring team in the USA.

Talley said she only asked two things from her squad before going to compete.

“First thing was to hit and the second was to have fun, and they did just that! They hit the routine during both competitions effortlessly and they had the time of their lives doing so,” Talley said.

Thanks to their efforts, the team performed well at competition.

Jessica Wright, ULM Cheerleading captain, said she was filled with emotion after their victory due to the difficulties the team faced among the journey.

“To place so highly at the competition felt like a weight lifted off my shoulders. I knew that my team worked their tails off while everyone was at home for break and it all paid off,” Wright said. “It was a reward to know that all the blood, sweat and tears were worth it, and we were finally recognized for the hard work and dedication we put into this sport.”

Wright’s co-captain, Samariah Spivey, said the team had a goal when traveling to this competition and others like it. The team wanted to place in the top three.

According to Spivey, placing first gave the team an extra sense of pride.

“We listed that as a goal from the beginning. So, to be able to come home with a first-place trophy in our hands was exuberant,” Spivey said. “Not only did we reach our goal, but we surpassed it. I couldn’t be prouder.”

Other than competing or cheering on the university’s athletics teams, both captains agree that their role is much bigger than just that. To Spivey, the role of a ULM cheerleader comes with a lot of responsibilities.

With their recent successes, the team has managed to showcase ULM’s name on a national and international platform, becoming special ambassadors for the university.

Talley said a win like theirs gives her team a sense of value on the bayou.

“As I think back at all of the trials and tribulations this team has had to overcome this season, the more I realize we needed this,” Talley said. “We needed this to show the world that the ULM cheerleaders are valued and there is value in what we do.”