PLYMOUTH, N.H. - The Plymouth State University varsity cheerleading team makes its 2008-09 season debut this weekend when the Panthers perform at the home men's and women's basketball doubleheader at Foley Gymnasium.
The Panthers will compete in a pair of cheerleading tournaments next semester and will perform at all PSU home men's and women's basketball doubleheaders this season. The first appearance is this Saturday at Foley Gymnasium when the Panthers host Western Connecticut State University in a Little East Conference twinbill (women at 1:00 p.m. and men at 3:00 p.m.)
This weekend's events will mark the season debut of new Panther head coach Jen Middlemiss (right), who took over the program in September. This is PSU's third season with cheerleading as a varsity sport.
The tournaments the team will compete in are the Elite All-Stars of Maine, held in Kennebunk on Feb. 28, 2009, and the New England Open Championships in East Haven, Conn., on Mar. 7. The Panthers finished runner-up at the Open College Nationals in 2007, and placed first the New England Open Championships in 2008.
There are plenty of new faces on this year's squad, with only one returning member of last year's team, sophomore Chandra Touch (Portland, Maine). Touch and classmate Jess Leblanc (Tilton, N.H.) are serving as this year's co-captains.
"They are doing a great job working as a team," said Middlemiss. "Their skills are improving at each practice. We are using this season as a building year because we have so many new members."
There are five other sophomores on the roster - Leah Bergeron-Rosa (Manchester, N.H./Central), Nikki Borman (Attleboro, Mass./Attleboro), Jackie Delmonte (Nashua, N.H./North), Jess Rickard (North Attleboro, Mass./North Attleboro) and Sheri Sprague (Woburn, Mass.).
The rest of the team members are all freshmen - Taylar Carr (Londonderry, N.H./Londonderry), Jessica Dichard (Nashua, N.H./North), Jessica Emery (Ipswich, Mass./Ipswich), Tori Green (New Milford, Conn./New Milford), Courtney Horvath (Ellington, Conn./Ellington), Cayla Micelli (Beverly, Mass./Beverly), Tiffany Sweeney (Pembroke, N.H./Manchester Central), and Zyara-Star Worthy (Chicopee, Mass./Chicopee).
"The college level stunting is new to the team," said Middlemiss. "I am amazed at how fast they have picked it up. We are excited for the games and the competition season to start."
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