MSU President's column for Traill County Tribune 

August 22, 2015

Cheer team is a great source of pride for Mayville State


In the fall of 2012, Mayville State began offering a new opportunity with which Mayville State University students could get involved – the Mayville State University cheer team. This has been a great addition to Mayville State University, and the benefits are two-fold. Not only does the cheer team offer additional opportunities for student involvement, we also have a skilled cheer team promoting our athletic programs and our university.

It is the mission of the Mayville State University cheer team to uphold the pride and tradition of Mayville State University. The group actively promotes stunting, cheer, and dance techniques. The team members strive to be positive role models as student-athletes of Mayville State University.

The MSU cheer team currently consists of eight athletes, a volunteer strength and conditioning coach, one student coach, and a head coach. The cheerleaders will perform at home football and men’s and women’s basketball games this year, and they will also make appearances at volleyball games.

It has taken some time to get the program started. Cheerleading is not a hugely popular activity in the Midwest, but it definitely appeals to our students who come from out of the area. In addition to students from North Dakota, those from Hawaii, Wyoming, Minnesota, Honduras, Zimbabwe, and California have been involved in cheerleading during these past few building years.

Together with the cheer team from Dakota State in Madison, S.D., the Mayville State cheerleaders have been going to the University of Sioux Falls in South Dakota each summer to work with Universal Cheerleaders Association staff to learn new cheers, dances, and stunts for the upcoming year. They then spend the two weeks following the camp conditioning and working on their skills, in order that they will be game-time ready. The team has come a long way in a short time, and we’re very proud of their efforts.

The team works hard to represent Mayville State favorably in the community. They also work to raise the funds they need to pay for their gear and travel. The goal is to grow the team to the point where they can participate in competitions with other cheer teams throughout the United States.

Before 2012, cheerleading at Mayville State had taken a several-year hiatus. Over the years, hundreds of young women, and men too, have represented Mayville State as cheerleaders, cheering the athletic and other teams to victory and offering goodwill and sportsmanship to the opposing teams.

The 1926 edition of “The Mill,” Mayville State’s yearbook, highlights rooter king, Wallace Ramage. The book summarizes his contributions like this, “This year the school spirit of M.S.T.C. has advanced by leaps and bounds. The interest and backing of the student body have been given to all the collegiate activities, especially football, basketball, and debate. ‘Toad’ Rammage as a yell leader has been a veritable windmill and has been backed at all times by the entire student body. School pep has been particularly evidenced by the many and enthusiastic parades, bonfires, pep meetings, and by the trip to Valley City. When ‘The Comets’ went to Valley City to play one of the big championship games, the feeling was so great that nearly one half of the student body and most of the faculty went along by hook or by crook. Although we did not ‘bring back the bacon’ as far as the score was concerned, we were there to help the team and incidentally make a showing of pep of which any student body might be proud. Through the efforts of ‘Toad’ and several others the student body has been stirred from any apathy that it might have had in the past to interest and enthusiasm for all college activities.”

This year, we’re going to celebrate the tradition of school spirit during Mayville State University’s homecoming festivities with a reunion of former cheerleaders. All former Mayville State cheerleaders are invited to get their blue and white on and return to Mayville State to help cheer on the Comets! Becky Gunderson, Donna Mark, Kelly Bradner, Jen Nepstad, and Linda Baier are helping to organize the reunion planned for Saturday, October 17.

Reunion plans include a meet and greet at the Edson and Margaret Larson Alumni and Leadership Center from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Former cheerleaders are invited to join the current cheer team and the Mayville State band in marching in the parade while leading the crowd in singing the Comet Fight Song. Former and current cheerleaders are charged with firing up the crowd during the homecoming football team, which begins at 2 p.m. at Jerome Berg Field. The grand finale for the day will be the all-alumni homecoming social at the Mayville Golf Club from 5 to 10 p.m. To register and get more information about the gathering of former Mayville State cheerleaders during homecoming, to go

I tip my hat to all former cheerleaders, as well as our current cheer team and head coach Alexis Franco. Their outstanding efforts make us all proud to be Comets!