Adam Strubhart '17
Sophomore from Aviston, Illinois
- Business administration major, speech communication minor
- Cheerleading squad
- Dean’s List
- Vice President, Phi Eta Sigma honor society
- Phi Beta Lambda business organization
- Emerging Leaders
- Former Student Government Association Senator
Adam Strubhart '17 knows the competition will be intense again this year at the National Cheerleading Association (NCA) Division II Small Coed Collegiate Championship. The McKendree Cheerleading Squad returns to NCA competition in Daytona Beach April 9-10, after placing third in 2014. This year the team will perform a two-minute, 30-second routine to the theme of “Pushing Limits.”
“During nationals season we practice 16 to 20 hours a week,” said Adam, one of six guys on McKendree’s 42-member squad. “The competition is pretty tight. Our main goal is to beat Blinn.” The Texas college won last year’s NCA championship in the Small Coed Division.
Adam performed at NCA last year as Bogey the Bearcat, the university mascot. “I was on the team but since I wasn’t there in the beginning (of the school year), I wasn’t allowed to compete yet for nationals,” he explained. “So I asked to be Bogey. You get an extra point for having a mascot on the floor, so it was crazy not to put Bogey out there.”
The key to wearing the mascot suit, he says, is “you have to be really energetic. You’ve got to get crazy with it. You can’t be shy.”
Adam is relatively new to cheerleading. He learned to do handsprings and tucks in his back yard and practiced for three or four years before his freshman year tryout at McKendree. “I had not cheered before so it was definitely a new thing,” he said. “I had tumbled before when I was younger. I knew I could still do some things so I thought I’d give it a try. I learned a lot my first year. I plan to do it all four years.”
The fundamentals of cheering require athleticism, teamwork and strength - especially for the unsung heroes whose steady shoulders and backs must safely support and protect their teammates. “You’ve got to work on your cardio, too,” Adam said. “Stunting requires good reflexes. There is a ton of trust involved when you’re catching people and throwing people.”
When the cheer team isn’t performing at Bearcats’ home football games and at men’s and women’s home basketball games, they attend high school competitions, exhibitions, recruitment fairs and new cheerleader tryouts. Want to see McKendree cheerleading in action? Visit the cheerleading squad’s Facebook page!
Leran more about McKendree University and the Cheerleading program.