Jessie Mierzejewski

Jessie Mierzejewski

1. When did you first get into cheerleading?

Second grade was when I first started cheerleading; about 13 years.

2. How many hours do you put into cheering a week?
We put in roughly 10-12 hours between both practices and games.
3. How do you manage your time with both cheer and academics?
Cheerleading actually makes it easier to manage my academics. If I have practice at night I know that I only have the time in between classes and before practice to get my school work done.
4. What is your favorite part about cheerleading?
My favorite part of cheerleading is the competitions. There’s nothing better than the “all eyes on us” feeling, and walking out on the competition mat with the girls who, throughout the blood, sweat, and tears have become your second family. Those two minutes and thirty seconds under the spotlights are the best.
5. What do you find to be the most challenging part of cheerleading?
The most challenging part is the practices where nothing seems to go your way. When tumbling doesn’t hit, when stunts fall, its frustrating. There’s nothing more frustrating than when you know you have the ability to hit a stunt, or throw a tumbling pass, but for whatever reason you just can’t that night.
6. This season, MU picked up football. How much has your cheering schedule changed in the past year?
We started practices earlier in the summer and came back early to school for preseason. We had a lot more material to learn in those practices, but in the end, it worked out in our benefit.
7. Do you prefer outdoor cheering for football or indoor for basketball?
I’ve grown up cheering for football games, and I only began cheering for basketball games my sophomore year of high school. Basketball games are definitely exciting, but I have to choose football.
8. Your team managed to get 5th place in nationals last year. What do you hope to get out of it this year?
Being a division three school competing with division two schools a fifth place finish was much more than we could ask for. This year going in to nationals they have opened up a new category for division three schools leaving us the top seeded team. Of course every cheerleader’s dream is to finish in the top three, however, as a squad we have set a team goal to make it to finals again this year. 
9. Cheerleading is known by many to not be a sport. What is your take on that?
I could sit here and argue about that all day, however, (that’s right a cheerleader is saying this) it’s not a sport. According to federal law, an activity cannot be a sport unless its primary goal is competition. Our primary goal is not competition, it’s to support and cheer on our school athletic teams. But that’s okay with us, being labeled a sport would restrict us from being able to do the hard stunts that we do in competition.
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Photo courtesy of MU Athletics