Misericordia University Cheerleading
301 Lake Street, Dallas, Pa 18612
About The Team
General Information - The Misericordia University cheerleading team is composed of 24-28 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 24-28 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 2018-2019 season 14 members of the cheerleading program were recognized by the university for Excellence in Athletics and Academics; thirteen members of the team made Spring 2019 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. Since 2008, MU cheerleaders have organized the annual "Cougars for a Cure" and raised over $12,000 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. In the last four seasons, MU has participated in numerous other charity events including the Autism Awareness Walk, Relay for Life, United Way fundraising and team-organized food drives.
Competition - The team competes at UCA's National College Championship each January. In 2018 the team placed second in the inaugural Game Day National Championship were they competed against DI, DII, DIII cheerleading programs from across the United States. MU has qualified for the final round of competition for nine times in their last ten appearances in the Traditional Cmpetition Routine. The 2014 performance produced MU's best finish ever - 3rd place at the nationals event among DIII teams. In February of 2019 the Cougars hosted the first-ever Mid-Atlantic College Championship. The team won the Game Day Title in their conference and they were runner-up for the Traditional Routine title. Misericordia also took home the women's four stunt group MAC Championship as well. Members of that group included: Rachel Rosato, Nicolette Bagoly, Kristin Robinson and Kendra Mattice.
2019-2020 Team Roster
Tara Sinclair - Head Coach
Tara Coletti-Sinclair is entering her 19th season with the Misericordia Cougars. She 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 cheerleading. 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 fifth 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.
- Tara Sinclair, Megan Zelonis, Kelsey Wolsieffer, Samantha Miller and Nicolette Bagoly
This year the Cougar Cheerleaders are led by Samantha Olcott, Emily Wenrich, Kendra Mattice, and Jenna Chilcote.