ORLANDO, Fla. – The East Mississippi Community College cheerleading team returned to the national scene and came away from the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex last weekend with a school-best, fourth-place team finish in the Division II Small Coed finals of the 2017 Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA) College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship.
Guided by first-year head coach Delaney Miller, the EMCC Lions were one of seven teams to advance to Saturday's finals from the original 11 schools competing in their division category. Wilmington University, out of New Castle, Delaware, claimed the school's sixth consecutive national title in the UCA's Division II Small Coed category, followed by Grand Canyon University and MACJC foe Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.
"I am so proud of our performance at nationals competing mostly against universities and a few community colleges in our challenging division," Miller noted. "I am most proud of them for coming together as a team when everything counted the most and for reaching our preseason goal of placing among the Top 5 nationally in our division."
This year's 21-member EMCC cheerleading team consists of: Ashlyn Armstrong (Caledonia); Megan Coston (West Jones HS); Rylee Dawkins (Pinson, AL); Brooke Dodd (Florence); Lexie Fallon (George County HS); Alex Fulton (West Lauderdale HS); Natalie Goodin (Neshoba Central HS); Turner Belle Griffin (Clarkdale HS); Bailey Henry (Sumrall); Neiko Howell (Starkville); McKenzie Jenkins (Northeast Lauderdale HS); Lovebiah Johnson (New Hope HS); Kenzie Johnston (Enterprise); Leighton Moffett (West Lauderdale HS); Kayla Pinter (Sebastopol HS); Emily Polk (Southeast Lauderdale HS); Jade Roberson (Leake Academy); Patience Rowell (Wayne County HS); Blaine Sisco (Lake Cormorant HS); Kayla Tanner (George County HS); and Greg Traylor (Southaven).
This season marked the second time in three years that East Mississippi Community College has competed at the UCA College Cheerleading National Championship in Orlando. The 2014-15 EMCC cheer squad became the first team in school history to participate at nationals.