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.
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. Spring tryouts are 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 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 2014-2015 season 14 members of the cheerleading program were recognized by the university for Excellence in Athletics and Academics; the team earned an impressive GPA of 3.54.
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 produced MU's best finish ever - 3rd place at the nationals event amoung DIII teams. MU has qualifies for the final round of competition for the last three seasons. In 2013 the program finished fourth. In 2012 the team placed 5th among Division II and III schools in the All-Girl Cheer Division. For more details on Misericordia's accomplishments, please see the Competition Results web page.
2015-2016 Team Roster
Tara Coletti-Sinclair is a graduate of College Misericordia and she is a former Cougar cheerleader. She holds a BA in English and a Masters Degree in Instructional Technology.
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 nationally ranked All-Star programs and competitive high school teams.
In regards to coaching experience, Coach Sinclair has 12 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 is also a former director, cheer coach and tumble coach for a local non-profit 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.
Courtney Pentka is at 2007 graduate of Misericordia University. During her years at MU, Courtney participated in the cheer program and led the team as captain in her senior year. In her final year at Misericordia, the team placed in the top two at five regional competitions. She was also a member of an award winning stunt group, which placed second at COA's collegiate nationals in Niagara Falls.
Since graduating, Courtney has pursued a job in the field of education; she is currently employed at Wyoming Area School District. Coach Pentka returned to Misericordia in the 09-10 season as an assistant coach. Courtney is a certified cheerleading coach; she is certified by AACCA and USASF. .
- Tara Sinclair, Courtney Pentka, Sarah Richard, Megan Zelonis and Amber Schmidt
This year the Cougar Cheerleaders are led by senior captains Gina Baiamonte and Erica Moore and junior captain Kathleen Brown.