News - GU's Panther Cheer and Dance Teams Rank Among the Nation's Top Ten

GU's Panther Cheer and Dance Teams Rank Among the Nation's Top Ten

By Carla Morris


Last month, Greenville University’s Panther Cheer and Dance teams traded the snow and cold of mid-February Illinois for the sun and palm trees of Anaheim, California, to compete in the 2020 USA Collegiate Championships. Both teams registered top ten finishes at the annual two-day event that draws nearly 1,000 collegiate athletes competing in 15 divisions. 

Spirit Program Coordinator and Head Cheerleading Coach Sean Anthony Washington expressed his pleasure at the results and praised the work ethic of this year’s Panthers: “They have overcome so many obstacles this year.”

He cited the “heart and bond” of this year’s students, adding that it “has surpassed any team or program of which I have ever been a part.”


Stiff Competition and More of It

The competition, held February 15-16, marked the second national championship appearance for GU’s cheer Panthers (top photo). They placed fifth in two divisions: Situational Sideline, and Game Day Band Chant. GU’s dance Panthers (above) made their debut appearance at the championships, placing eighth in the Collegiate Jazz Division.

Both teams faced stiff competition; this year’s contest pitted the Panthers against athletes from both Division II and III schools. 

“We are very pleased with the outcomes,” said Washington. 

More Than "Game Day"

Since his arrival at GU in 2015, Washington has worked to develop a cohesive program where GU’s cheerleading, dance, mascot, marching band, and pep band collaborate to create a dynamic experience for attendees at athletic events, game day, and other campus events.

Participating students are known for spreading enthusiasm and encouragement beyond the gym and playing fields, including:

  • welcoming new students and their families at New Student Orientation,
  • cheering on special-needs athletes for GU’s annual Adapted Sports Olympics,
  • assisting in community clean-up projects,
  • performing for residents in retirement and assisted living facilities throughout Southern Illinois, 
  • ringing bells for the Salvation Army during Christmas, and
  • serving as judges and staff at local junior high and high school holiday tournaments.

GU’s Spirit program reinforces Greenville University’s values of community, character, and service.

Learn More

Cheer Receives Awards at USA Collegiate Game Day Championships
Spirit program coordinator Sean Anthony Washington participates in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Sean Anthony Washington Named Spirit Program Coordinator
Panther Cheer: Champions Again!

Many Panther cheerleaders, dance team members, and band members receive donor-funded academic scholarships. If you value community, character, and service, help a student by funding a scholarship today. Thank you for giving!

This story was published on March 16, 2020

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