The Dixie State University cheerleaders practice each week to ensure perfect performances at halftimes, time-outs and sideline routines to cheer on the DSU sports teams to victory.
As DSU transitioned to Division I, the cheerleaders must reach that next level to match the other Division I teams. Therefore, the cheerleaders focus on preparing routines four days a week for the sporting events.
Brighton Williams, a junior marketing major from South Weber, is captain of the team this year. She said being a DI cheer team brings more opportunities. “Being a Division I cheer team brings more ESPN appearances, larger crowd and a larger game attendance,” Williams said.
Williams said the team prepares for big appearances by meeting early on game days to prep and go over anything they feel is needed. She said one of the best memories of the last season was the men’s basketball game against Utah Valley University, a game that was well attended.
“It was such an intense and fun game,” Williams said. “We got to perform at halftime with the dance team, which I have never done in my three years on the team.”
Emma Quarnberg, a senior communication studies major from South Weber, said she loves representing DSU at the DI level.
“I always knew I wanted to be a college cheerleader, and Dixie has been the perfect fit for me,” Quarnberg said.
Jillian Judkins, a freshman communication studies major from St. George, said it is a huge accomplishment to be at the upper level of cheer, it adds more opportunity and responsibility.
“Being at this level is something that inspires me to work harder and prove my talents and skills,” Judkins said. Preparing for games is something every single one of us enjoys even through the stress and pressure, that is what makes cheering so much fun.”
Judkins said her favorite part of cheering is the opportunity to meet and get to know so many amazing people.
“Coming to college is tough not knowing anyone and trying to make new friends and being a part of cheer have made it so much easier,” Judkins said.
With DSU having a DI cheer team, there are about 100 people who try out for a spot on the team each year, but only 20-30 make the team. This year is the biggest team DSU has had starting with 30 cheerleaders.
The cheer team will continue to add to their team and start the 2022-2023 season with a clinic on May 6, and tryouts on May 7 in the Burns Arena.