Stuntin is a habit for GSU

Photo By: Andy MoralesJunior Sarah Reuter (14) flies in a full partner stunt during the third game against Florida State University in GSU’s only home STUNT Tournament of the season.

Jackie Gutknecht

The Georgia Southern University all-girl cheerleading squad claimed an unpredicted three wins in its only home STUNT Tournament of the season Sunday at Hanner Fieldhouse.

GSU claimed all three victories this weekend against the University of Georgia and Florida State University.

Eagles come from behind to leash Bulldogs

Each STUNT tournament features four quarters, and in the first, GSU started off slow with UGA

taking an early lead in the first quarter. Quarters are broken into four rounds, and UGA won all four rounds of the first quarter.

The Eagles fought back, though, winning the first round of the second quarter, but it was not enough to take the lead. The half ended with a score of 15-10.

The third quarter ended with the Bulldogs still on top, 21-18, but in the final performance round GSU took the victory from behind and finished the tournament with a score of 26-21.

Head cheerleading coach Barry Munkasy said GSU’s tumbling is what pushed it above its competitors, who were equally matched in partner stunts and pyramids.

GSU unexpectedly competes in the second tournament

The second tournament was scheduled to be a showdown between UGA and FSU, but a UGA athlete became sick and the team was not able to compete. GSU gladly stepped in and agreed to compete in the next two tournaments against the Seminoles.

“They were exhausted, but they realized it was something they needed to do, and they came through and performed at a very high level, but that was a very long day for them,” Munkasy said.

The coin toss appeared an early sign that GSU would come out on top in the second game. However, the win did not come easy. The first quarter ended in a 6-6 tie, and the half ended with a close score of 14-12 with the Eagles leading the way. The Seminoles made sure to keep the game as close as possible as the third quarter ended with GSU still on top at 20-19. GSU stuck its routine and the wobbly Seminoles could not claim the final round, leading to the second victory for the Eagles 28-23.

GSU rounds out the day with a third win

After a short break, the Eagles and the Seminoles were back at it, and this time, there would be an unexplained drop to only three rounds per quarter. FSU started strong, taking an early lead in the first two rounds and ending the first quarter at 5-4 and the half at 10-9. GSU was barely able to squeeze out the lead at the end of the third quarter with 15-14 as the score going into the final round. FSU and GSU were determined to win and tied the final team performance round leaving the score in the Eagles’ favor at 21-20.

“I think they were very determined to win. They know what it means to win,” Munkasy said.

STUNT is a new sport that derives from cheerleading but does not include the crowd-leading aspect. STUNT takes the technical and athletic skills of cheer-including partner stunts, pyramids, basket tosses, group jumps and tumbling-and breaks it down into four quarters of competition.

STUNT is a part of the NCAA Emerging Sport Initiative and was created by USA Cheer to meet strict Title IX requirements to make cheerleading a college sport.

The Eagles will now have a couple weeks off to prepare for the National Cheerleaders Association Collegiate Cheer and Dance Championship in Daytona Beach on April 10-14.

Munkasy said, “I think the whole STUNT Tournament gave us a clear indication on our strengths and weaknesses going forward to Nationals. We have about two and half weeks to fix some of our issues.”