By Sarrah Peters
On Wednesday, the Jacksonville State University Football team and cheerleaders left for Frisco, Texas. The Gamecocks are scheduled to play the North Dakota State Bison on Saturday at 11 a.m. for the FCS National Championship.
Classes have been canceled for Friday, in case students wish to travel to the game.
To prepare for the first national championship, local JSU cheerleading mom Stacie Segrest invited members of the cheerleading team to make signs and goody bags at her home in Glencoe.
The group made signs that read “Fear the Beak,” “Stay Cocky,” Straight Out of JSU,” “Hey Bison,Don’t Tread on Our Grass” and “Bye-son.” The group also made goody bags for the cheerleaders and the coaches Donna Callan, Dave Almeida and Johnny Neal.
Segrest has been involved in cheerleading for two years because of her son Jamon Philip’s involvement as a member of Jacksonville State University’s cheer squad. He got involved in cheering with his girlfriend, Lauren Ashmore, who is also a member of the cheer squad.
The couple began dating in the 10th grade at Glencoe High School. Lauren was a cheerleader, while Jamon played football. During Jamon’s senior year he began to attend Ace All Stars for gymnastics. According to Segrest, he was a natural.
The two not only cheer together, but are now stunt partners.
Segrest will travel to Texas to see the game and cheerleaders with her two young sons, Cade and Wade.
The cheerleaders, along with mascot Cocky, will be going to 2016 NCAA College Nationals in Daytona Beach themselves in April. The squad was given a gold bid for the event at a college cheerleading training camp attended in August 2015.
At the National Cheerleading Association College Camp in Myrtle Beach, mascot Cocky also won Best All Around Mascot and All-American Mascot.
Last year was the first year the squad attended the nationals. The team came in 10th place for their division, a remarkable feat for a first year attendee.