New STUNT coach joins the community

Samantha Weber, Editor in chief

New this year to Mercyhurst is a STUNT team.

For those who do not know, STUNT is a way for students who want to participate in a sport that is similar to cheerleading.

The NCAA does not recognize cheerleading as a sport, so the governing body of USA Cheer created STUNT for these athletes to be recognized by the NCAA.

Ruthanne Mineo will be making history as the first coach of the STUNT team at Mercyhurst. Mineo is no stranger to the Mercyhurst community as she graduated from here in 2017 with a degree in biology.

After getting her undergrad, she went on to get her masters from LECOM Bradenton. She and her husband lived in Florida for three years before returning to Erie.

She was offered the cheerleading coach position which she said was her dream job. Life came full circle for her as she was a cheerleader during her time at Mercyhurst as a student.

Mineo said, “I love having the opportunity to build up our current team.”

STUNT is a four-quarter game with each quarter focused on a different event.

The first quarter is Partner Stunts, the second quarter is Pyramids and Tosses, the third quarter is Jumps and Tumbling and quarter four is the Team Routine.

Quarters 1-3 have four rounds while quarter four has three rounds.

Each category has eight routines; 1 is the easiest and 8 is the hardest. Each team is required to know all eight routines.

To start the match, there is a coin toss to determine who starts with possession.

The teams then alternate possession and the coach with possession will call a routine number. Both teams then have 20 seconds to get on the mat and perform the specified routine simultaneously.

The teams are deducted points based on mistakes they make, so the team with the least deductions is the one that receives the point for that round.

In quarter 4, there are only three rounds of play. The coach with possession will call a routine, let’s say for example routine 2, then both teams will perform Partner Stunt 2, Jumps and Tumbling 2, and Pyramids and Tosses 2 one right after the other as one routine.

Points will be awarded for each section for a total of 3 points possible.

Mineo is currently still recruiting players for the team, but hopes to have 35-40 athletes on the roster.

Each player has their own number and the uniforms are similar to volleyball uniforms.

Mineo said, “I am so excited to be making history here at Mercyhurst building and coaching the inaugural STUNT team.”

Mercyhurst is the first in Pennsylvania to have a STUNT team since it was just passed by NCAA for Division II in January.

The team will compete in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (GMAC). Since they are still recruiting, next spring will be their first official competition.

“We have athletes coming in who are strong elite tumblers, others that have been on STUNT teams at the high school level, along with a strong group of all-star and high school cheer athletes,”said Mineo.

There is a recruitment camp for both STUNT and Cheer on Sat- urday, Feb. 25 for anyone who is interested in joining.

According to Mineo, this new sport allows cheerleaders to be “recognized for their incredible athletic ability in stunting and tumbling.”

Mineo is really passionate about this team and hopes to create a strong start to STUNT here at Mercyhurst!

Be sure to keep an eye out for the big things that STUNT has upcoming in the near future.