What it’s like to be a YSU cheerleader

Brittany Revlock, a senior middle childhood education major, is also a YSU cheerleader. Photo by Robert Hayes 

By Kelcey Norris

Meet senior Brittany Revlock: one of the smiling faces you’ll see at the Homecoming game this weekend at Stambaugh Stadium. 

Revlock became a Youngstown State University cheerleader four years ago. She’s majoring in early childhood education with a focus in math and science. 

Since she became an athlete at a young age, cheer has been her passion. When she was a freshman, she decided the sport was something she wanted to continue while pursuing her degree.

“I grew up doing cheerleading my whole life, and I wanted to be a part of something at college, so I decided to try out,” Revlock said. “When I made the team, I instantly absolutely loved it. Football games are my favorite.”

She described how different her senior cheer season has been due to the coronavirus pandemic and postponement of the regular fall football season. 

“It’s a little different this year, but it’s still fun and really exciting to go to the games, see everyone excited and hype everyone up. I love the excitement of it,” she said. “One of my favorite parts was the tailgating.”

From the stands, but not the field, at Stambaugh Stadium, the cheerleaders at football games are able to hype up the Penguin Nation, notably without masks. 

The smiles of the YSU cheer squad are a welcoming sight for sore eyes for Stambaugh visitors, who have all weathered a year of the pandemic. 

“For basketball season, we had to [wear masks], but for football, since it’s outside and we’re so far apart, we don’t have to,” Revlock said. 

The cheer team had to adjust to COVID-19 safety protocols and social distancing, Revlock said, by postponing their stunting. They weren’t able to practice any routines, performances or stunts that involved close contact. 

“Practices this summer, we couldn’t do anything like stunting. Basically, we couldn’t touch each other, be around each other. That was a huge adjustment,” she said. “When we were able to finally start stunting again, there were many injuries … because some of us had not done anything in so long during the quarantine and probably weren’t in the best shape.” 

But they’re building off each other and learning during the months of preparation for spring football. 

“The first game was a huge adjustment because we just had to stay in the bleachers. But we did our best, tried to keep up and tried to be pretty loud,” Revlock said. “We practice all summer together, twice a week … constantly preparing for our season.” 

She said the relationship between the cheerleaders “feels like a little family.” The Spirit Squad is coached by Michelle Markota and Jenna Schneider. 

“We’re always there for each other,” Revlock said. “We try to stay close and our coaches care so much about us. If anyone ever has an injury, or is sick or anything, they make sure to check up on us.”

Catch Revlock and the cheerleaders at YSU’s Homecoming game this weekend! Kickoff is 12:00 p.m. Saturday at Stambaugh Stadium.