MOREHEAD, Ky. (LEX 18) — A small eastern Kentucky town that's home to more than 50 national cheerleading championships will soon hang a few more banners in the gymnasium.
Earlier this month, Morehead State University took home titles 51, 52, and 53 after competing in the UCA College Nationals in Orlando, Florida.
The cheerleaders tell us their success is still sinking in; luckily, they have three more massive trophies to show for their hard work.
Last weekend was title number 29 for the large co-ed team. The all-girls team won number 13, and the brand-new small co-ed team (also known as 'smo-ed') snagged their first championship during their first year competing.
"All-girl was our first team to go, and they were the first team announced to win. I could have gone home. I could have loaded the bus, we all could have gone home and I would have been content on my cheer career," said cheerleader Willie Coggins. "I could have been done. But then smo-ed went, won again, and then co-ed, I kind of get chills thinking about it, pulled the win together one more time."
Of course, their skills are top-notch and their routines are perfect. But Morehead cheerleaders say it's their determination and drive that put them at the top of the pyramid.
"We come in a lot on our own," said cheerleader Abbi Stitt. "There's a lot of late nights in that practice room, and a lot of early mornings, long days."
Zak Attousi echoed his teammate.
"You see what we do one time in that two-and-a-half minutes, but you don't see the countless hours we spend in that practice room right behind us," he told LEX 18.
Head coach Mark Coleman said he's proud of his athletes and the family they've become, adding it's that closeness that contributes to their success. In fact, cheerleaders from across the country aspire to join the team at Morehead State.
"They're amazing athletes to work with, and amazing university, and it's my dream job," Coleman said.