January 27, 2009

Rock CO-ED

1985 Under the direction of Coach Don Collins, a graduate and former cheerleader at James Madison University, Slippery Rock University began its first ever coed cheerleading squad.
In 1986, after only one year in existence, the Rock Cheerleaders captured the Division II national cheerleading title. Their performance aired on the ESPN Network giving Slippery Rock University national recognition. Team members on the 86 team: Rob Andrejcik, Sandy Banks, Grave Caraveggio, Michelle Coleman, Jodi Dilner, Stacey Dunkelberger, Doug Fritz, Missy Green, Monica Greggs, Dan Hostert, Joey Joswiak, Ray Maguire, Don Perrine, and Pat Scanlon.

1987 Coach Don Collins left SRU to accept a position at North Carolina Chapel Hill and to coach the Tar Heel Cheerleaders where he still coaches today. Larry Tolliver, an Ohio State cheerleader, assumed the duties of head coach on a part time basis while former cheerleader Grace Caraveggio acted as coach during the week. The team placed forth in taping for the National Cheerleading Championship. At the time the top 3 Division II teams were invited to compete in the championship.

1988 Once again the Rock cheerleaders were in need of a coach. Bill Thallemer, former Notre Dame cheerleader and UCA instructor, accepted the cheerleading coach position. Under his leadership and expertise the Rock Cheerleaders were back on top, regaining its title as National Champion. Once again their winning performance aired on national television on ESPN. Team members of the 88 team: Dave Berlin, Sandy Cernick, Michelle Coleman, Jodi Dilner, Frank Dimarco, Stacey Dunkelberger, Gemma Fotia, Doug Fritz, Missy Green, Monica Greggs, Dan Hostert, Joey Joswiak, Ray Maguire, Lori Ruffino, Kevin Vonderschmidt, and Steve Winegardner.

1990 Without a coach, the cheerleaders were under the direction of student/cheerleaders Ray Maguire and Dave Berlin. The team qualified for the National Championship and placed forth in competition. 1991-1992 Todd Volland, former Illinois cheerleader and UCA instructor, was announced the new SRU cheerleading coach.

1991 and 1992 were rebuilding years for The Rock and Coach Volland. At the end of the 1992 season Todd Volland informed the team that he would be leaving Slippery Rock.

In 1993, former member of the 88 championship squad and UCA instructor, Gemma Fotia assumed the role of head coach. That year, the squad swept all five first place trophies during camp competition at East Tennessee State University. Under her direction the squads success continued with a third place in taping and third place in the National Competition. Once again the Rock cheerleaders were in the national spotlight as they were featured on national television on ESPN. Team members of the 93 team: Matt Bald, Doug Courtney, Shelly Dauer, Jerome Fuller, Michael Lanza, Holly McFadden, Tracy Mosko, Julie Philips, Todd Price, Timmy Sexton, Michelle Solon, Eric Suprano, Danny Syrko, and Jamie Tagliava.

THE ROCK IS BACK 1994-1997 Since then, the squad placed a disappointing sixth in 1994. The team sat out of Competition for the 1995 season. After a year of rebuilding the Slippery Rock team once again finished third in 1996. Their performance was one of the 3 Division II teams to air in its entirety on the ESPN and ESPN2 networks.

In 1997 the teams performance once again aired nationally as the team placed fifth. Team members of the 1996 team: Frank Beachly, Tracy Blundo, Michelle Burchanowski, Joe Cooper, Donna DeFloria, Tara Dundr, Heath Hoffman, Jackie Kirby, Greg Lindner, Bobbie Lynn Miller, Joe Parets, Jeremy Rekich, Ben Richey, and Kim Rodgers.

1999-2000 The 1998 team went through another year of rebuilding the program. In 1999 with much drive and determination the team finished in second place. The SRU squad was the only team to nail their routine in the final round of competition. The routine featured their innovative swing through stunt sequence and creative pyramids. They also pumped the crowd up with their open line of DO YOU SMELL WHAT THE ROCK IS COOKING.

The following year, the 2000 team finished in third place. Both the 1999 and 2000 award winning routines were featured on the Division I, II, & Jr. College Cheer Highlights show televised on ESPN and ESPN2. Members of the 1999 second place team: Kristy Boehm, Patrick Birt, Michelle Burchanowski, Laura Burkhart, Cory Deacon, Adam Goss, Amy Harris, Brad Houchins, Joe Lear, Kyle Likens, Greg Lindner, Kateri Maille, Janelle Pieri, Ben Richey, Shannon Ross, and Joelle Woodley.

2001 THE PRIDE OF SLIPPERY ROCK, the 2001 season began with the addition of a new SRU mascot. After a long search Rocky, the lion, was chosen to represent the university. With the addition of a new mascot the cheerleaders began their season at Rutgers University for College Camp. The team captured first place in the cheer category beating out every coed team at camp from Division II through Division IA. This by far was the most talented team in the history of SRU cheerleading. The team finished 3rd in taping earning an all-expense paid trip to the National Competition in Orlando, Florida. Due to injuries the 2001 team finished a disappointing 6th in competition. Members of the 2001: Kristy Boehm, Andy Brown, Cory Deacon, Jim Fleming, Adam Goss, Jody Hancox, Bekki Hillerby, Stefanie Kase, Joe Lear, Kyle Likens, Julie Masci, Dave Rapko, Shannon Ross, Scott Thomas, Jen Werner, Chrissy Wesley, and Brian Zukauckas. The 2001-year also brought the addition of a second cheerleading team. An all-girl team of 16 members was formed and started their season cheering for mens and womens basketball games.

The CO-ED cheerleading squad placed 2nd at UCA nationals.

2008 was a troubling year only placing 4th in the national competition.

This year was a troublesome year for the ROCK squad, it began with a rocky start "no pun intended" By the end of the year the squad pulled together much like a family. Placing 3rd at nationals.
2008-2009 Squad

Try-Out Information