Cheerleaders have high hopes with new coach

The Rattler sidelines will never be the same. The cheerleaders have a new coach who brings a new attitude and a new Rattler spirit.

Angela Ross, the new coach, was approached by Annie Sloan, vice president of Student Affairs, about the position last spring and happily accepted.

Ross said she wants the squad to be seen as more than a “dance squad.” She will bring new cheers and stunts to the ladies.

The cheerleaders are excited to have Ross as their coach. She actively participates in practice by cheering with the squad and even helping them to spot during stunts, making sure that the cheerleaders don’t injure themselves. Students are taking notice of the new changes, specifically in their stunts and tumbling.

“Compared to previous years, they have improved,” said April Hogan, 20, a junior psychology student from Meridian, Miss. “Their stunts are good. They have started to get the respect they deserve because of that.”

Marcus Polk, 22, a senior accounting student from St. Petersburg, said the new stunts are impressive and make the team look more collegiate.

Stunts and tumbling are not the only changes for the group. Next semester the squad will participate in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference cheerleading competition in Atlanta in March.

Senior Melba Table is the captain of this year’s team.

“Our goal is to win first place at the competition and take the squad to a new level,” Table said.

In order to get to that new level, practice is required. They practice Monday through Friday from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

The cheerleaders cheer for football and basketball games. This year they also cheered at a Lady Rattler volleyball match against Florida State.

Ross says they will have a small tryout for basketball season. They are also looking for stuntmen.

Direct questions about the cheerleading, to Angela Ross at