Cheer sponsor resigns after 15 years

Mandy Saal

Sue Witherspoon has been the cheer sponsor and administrative assistant for student development and for the past 15 years. She will resign as cheer sponsor at the end of this school year.

“I have let cheer take over my life the last 15 years. It’s time for me to focus on my family,” Witherspoon said.

When she took over the cheer program in the spring of 2005, there were only about eight cheerleaders. They were having difficulty because of the lack of structure and discipline.

“When I worked for student activities, I was asked to step in as cheer sponsor because I have a cheer background from middle school through college,” Witherspoon said.

When she was in student activities, they asked her if she could take over as sponsor. The program needed a makeover and guidance from someone who could take charge. With the addition of Witherspoon as sponsor and a new coach, Noah Mattews, the cheer program had a new kick-start.

Since becoming the sponsor in 2005, Witherspoon has gone to all the practices and games and developed a bond with the cheerleaders. The first time they went to nationals for a cheer competition, they made it all the way to finals. The cheer program had never made it that far.

“It has been the best job I have ever had. I could not of done it without administration and all the good relationships I have with all the coaches at MSU.”

After improving the cheer program, Witherspoon said that the amount of interest in cheer at MSU skyrocketed. She said that one year they had 60 girls try out for a team. This is when she had the idea of asking administration if she could create an “all-girl squad” as well as having a co-ed squad.

“I’m always trying to recruit more students to join our squads. Admissions take my brochures to help me reel more cheerleaders in wherever they go,” Witherspoon said.

Witherspoon has become much more than just a sponsor after these past 15 years. To some cheerleaders, she has become the mother away from home.

Jasmine Ferrell, radiology junior and on all-girl squad, said, “Sue doesn’t have a mean bone in her body. She is so supportive and is willing to help with whatever she can.”

“Every year I get so close to a new class of cheerleaders and Ill want to stay until they graduate. I hope they know that my door will always be open for all of them, I love them all,” Witherspoon said.

Mallory Roberson, freshman undeclared and on all-girls squad, said, “Sue has helped us all find jobs, find a place to live, answered our calls at 2 a.m., made us countless batches of chicken spaghetti, and has oraganized everything perfectly. This cheer program would not have been the same without her.”

Witherspoon said that they are currently still interviewing people to take over as the next cheer squad. She said that they are looking for someone that will have a background in cheer and that is still currently working on campus.

“I’m not ready to retire from this university. I never thought I would be able to stay here in student development after I resign from cheer sponsor. But I don’t want to leave MSU because they have been so good to me, my family, and the cheerleaders.”