University of South Carolina Cheerleaders
The tradition of cheering in the University of South Carolina began in1968, when seven girls cheered the Trojan Football team to victory. The University of South Carolina’s has two cheerleading squads program, one which is an all girls squad and the other co-ed. While the squads cheer for separate events, they come together during their side’s football matches. The all girl squad cheers at football and basket-ball matches held away as well as the women’s volley-ball and basket-ball matches. The co-ed team cheers for basketball when needed and also helps with volleyball matches held at home. It usually travels with the team for football games held away.
The USC cheerleaders compete with twenty members in each squad. The selections are made by the head coach before each event. The all-girl cheering team is comprised of 28 members and around 20 new members are chosen every year during the spring tryouts as old members graduate. The co-ed team is made up of thirteen couples, with ten new couples chosen after the tryouts in spring. The vacant positions are filled up following the tryouts in the fall semester. The cheerleaders are chosen after trials based on the score sheets rated by the squad coaches and judges.
The current head coach of the cheerleading squad is Erika P. Goodwin. She coaches both the all-girl as well as the co-ed squads. Under her mentorship the USC cheerleaders have gone on to finish in the top ten at the National Cheerleaders Association’s Collegiate National Championships for six consecutive years. In 2010, the all girl squad finished 5th while the co-ed squad finished 6th.
The USC cheerleaders are part of the University’s Spirit Program, where they participate with the other athletes to promote the spirit for the University of South Carolina or community events. The USC cheerleaders have been voted the Best Cheering Squad in United States by the Sports Illustrated and many of their members have gone on to be a part of the All-Star squad.