Misericordia University Cheerleading
301 Lake Street, Dallas, Pa 18612
About The Team
General Information - The Misericordia University cheerleading team is composed of 24-30 members. The cheerleading season begins in early August and continues until March. The team practices three to four times a week for 2 hours per night. Cheerleaders are also required to attend two conditioning sessions a week. They cheer at all home football and basketball games and select away games. Cheerleaders also participate in homecoming events and community service events as well.
Tryouts - The program holds spring evaluations in late April or early May for all incoming freshmen, transfer students and/or current students who wish to join the team. The tryout is a a one day opportunity to showcase skills and be selected to become a part of the Misericordia Cheerleading program. Although the cheerleading team consists of 24-30 members, only 20 members are able to compete in the national college championship competition.
Academic Responsibilities - The coaching staff expects excellence in the classroom as well as on the sidelines and competition floor. The team sets a goal annually to pursue academic excellence. In the past six years the MU cheerleaders have produced at team GPA averaging 3.4+. During the 2016-2017 season 16 members of the cheerleading program were recognized by the university for Excellence in Athletics and Academics; Seventeen memebers of the team made Spring 2017 Dean's List with a 3.55 GPA or better. The team earned an impressive GPA of 3.61.
Community Service - The coaching staff encourages the athletes to not only take an active role on campus, but in the community as well. During the 09-10 season, MU cheerleaders organized the 2nd annual "Cougars for a Cure" and raised over $3,200 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. In the past five years over $10,000 was donated to St. Jude's by the Cougar cheerleaders. In the last four seasons, MU has participated in numerous other charity events including the Autism Awareness Walk, Luzerne County Down Syndrome Network's Buddy Walk, United Way fundraising and team-organized food drives.
Competition - The team also competes at UCA's National College Championship each January. Their 2014 performance produced MU's best finish ever - 3rd place at the nationals event amoung DIII teams. MU has qualified for the final round of competition for the last seven times in their last ten appearances. At the 2018 Cheerleading championship the team competed against division I, II and III schools int he inaugural College Game Day Championship. The MU program was runner-up for the Game Day Championship title.
2019-2020 Team Roster
Tara Sinclair - Head Coach
Tara Coletti-Sinclair is a graduate of College Misericordia ('01) and she is a former Cougar cheerleader. She holds a BA in English and a Masters Degree in Instructional Technology. She holds eleven years of teaching experience at the middle and high school levels.
Tara began cheering when she was in Jr. High and continued through college. She is a former instructor for Eastern Cheer and Dance Association, ECDA. While working on ECA staff, Tara also served on curriculum staff where she choreographed summer material for the company. Currently, Coach Sinclair is active in providing choreography for competitive teams. She has choreographed routines for numerous all-star programs and school teams.
In regards to coaching experience, Coach Sinclair has 19 years of experience on all levels of cheerleding. She has coached at the rec level, as well as the junior high and high school level. Sinclair also served many years as a director, cheer coach and tumble coach for an all-star program.
Coach Sinclair is well qualified to serve as Misericordia University's Head Cheerleading Coach. She holds a master level certification from the NCSSE, the National Council for Spirit Safety and Education. She is also certified by the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators, AACCA, in cheerleading safety, as well as by the USASF in all levels of all-star cheerleading safety. Finally, Tara attends many conferences and workshops to develop her coaching techniques and update her safety certifications.
Megan Zelonis - Assistant Coach
Megan Zelonis is entering her fourth season as assistant coach for the Misericordia cheerleading program. She was also a four year member of the team, giving her 8 years of experience with the Cougars. During her time in the cheerleading program, Megan served as a team captain, and she continues to lead the team in her coaching role. She graduated from Misericordia University in 2014 with BS in Nursing. She is currently employed as a Nurse in the local ER.
Kelsey Wolsieffer - Assistant Coach
Kelsey Wolsieffer is a graduate of Misericordia University; she graduated in 2015 with her Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood & Special Education. She is currently employed in the Wyoming Valley West School District. Kelsey is a former cheerleader and team captain for the Cougars. She joined the coaching staff during the 2015-2016 season.
Erica Moore - Asst. Coach/ Tumble Coach
Erica Moore is an alumni of the Misericordia Cheerleading team and a former captain. She began assistant coaching in the 2016-17 season and is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Physical Therapy at MU. Erica is also a staff member of the Universal Cheerleaders Association where she works camps and clinics with cheerleaders of all ages. Erica is USASF certified for all levels of tumbling and AACCA certified in cheerleading safety. Erica has a background in tumbling and serves as a tumbling coach at MU.
- Tara Sinclair, Megan Zelonis, Erica Moore and Kelsey Wolsieffer
This year the Cougar Cheerleaders are led by Samantha Olcott, Emily Wenrich, Kendra Mattice, and Jenna Chilcote.