1 Thessalonians 5:11
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
History of the Cheer Program
In 2023, Gloria Deo Academy expanded its MSHSAA activity offerings for upper school students by adding cheerleading. Cheerleading is a wonderful extracurricular for upper grade (7-12) students to learn important life skills through an athletic outlet. The cheer program began as an idea in 2022 and the program launched with a Trial Day for interested students. The program attracted enough interest to start the new cheer program during the 2023-2024 school year.
The Goal of GDA Athletics
The goal of Gloria Deo Academy Activities and Athletics is to coach, train, teach, and equip young men and women who will use their God-given athletic abilities to compete for the glory of God.
Coach Morrison stated, “for young men and women it’s important to have a space outside of the classroom to fellowship, learn life skills like leadership and discipline, and how to encourage others.”
The cheer team leads the way for boosting school spirit and provides a unique leadership venture for young students at athletic events like the school basketball games.
Cheer is a MSHSAA activity, and the program follows MSHSAA guidelines.
Previous Experience Isn’t Necessary
For interested 7-12 grade students, Coach Morrison pointed out that previous cheer experience is not necessary to join the team. Anyone who joins cheer can learn the basics of the activity in a relaxed and fun environment without the pressure of intense competitions.
“We have some girls that have never cheered before. You don’t have to have any previous experience – we are creating a fun environment for the [basketball team] players and their parents.”
Where to Watch the New Cheer Team
The cheer team’s first official showcase will be at the High School Boys’ Basketball game this fall. The schedule is subject to change, but the girls are expected to cheer on the following dates:
-December 14, Galena
-December 18, Billings
-December 21, Chadwick
-January 18, New Covenant
-January 22-26, Conway Tournament
-February 13, College of the Ozarks
-February 19-23, Districts
About Coach Morrison
Molly has been involved in cheerleading for 15 years. She started cheerleading when she was 6 years old at All-Star Patriots competitive cheer gym. After completing 11 years of competitive cheerleading and 6 years of school cheerleading with several national championships and one state title, Molly attended Drury University on a cheer and academic scholarship. She cheered for Drury for two years, in which she competed at UCA College Nationals and placed 3rd in Traditional, 3rd in Gameday, and 2nd in Traditional her last year. Molly has done everything from choreographing halftime routines, making cheers, teaching tumbling privates, and teaching stunting privates. She graduated in May 2023 from Drury University with a B.A. in Business Administration and Marketing.
“I am so excited about this new venture happening at Gloria Deo Academy! I am passionate about pouring into the lives of young people, so when I was approached about this opportunity, I could not pass it up. The cheer team’s main objective is to encourage by helping the crowd get involved and to add excitement and enthusiasm to the event. It is also a priority that the cheerleaders represent GDA and GDA’s values well. Throughout this season the team will learn valuable life skills that will help them in the future.”
New Trial Day Expected in Spring 2024
For current 6th graders, a new Trial Day for cheerleading is expected to be scheduled during the spring semester in 2024. Read Gloria Deo Academy’s weekly update emails for athletic announcements and follow the school calendar on the website to watch for more details.