By Andy Solomon
Citadel cheerleaders have returned.
Through a unique relationship with The Stray Dog Society, they’re back, and the early reaction to them has been most positive.
Word is that the cheerleaders are indeed enhancing the game-day experience for fans and cadets alike.
Made up of current cadets and graduate school students as well as interested locals with cheerleading and public relations experience, the group of men and women cheer from the stands in front of the Corps of Cadets on the west side by the 15-yard line.
Put simply, they add spirit at the home games.
The Citadel had sponsored cheerleaders for many years and most recently had a “spirit squad” of cadets only.
And previously, there was a situation with our cheerleaders that simply wasn’t ideal and the department was searching ways in which to improve it when The Stray Dog Society offered suggestions and assistance.
“We’re happy to help,” said Stray Dog Society founder and president Joe Nuttall ’68. “The Stray Dog Society is positioned to help our beloved college in a multitude of areas, and we think this helps significantly with the spirit at our home football games.
Nuttall added that the cheerleaders’ primary focus is on the home football games, but they will also be positioned to help the Department of Athletics with a multitude of opportunities.
The cheerleading group is led by Stephanie Slan ’08, whose responsibilities include recruiting, training and coaching the squad. Slan is a native of Wadmalaw Island and was a Citadel cheerleader from 2004-08. She currently is a clinical research coordinator at the Medical University of South Carolina. She is assisted by Vicki Gillis, a former Citadel cheerleader when she was a student at the College of Charleston in the 1980s. Gillis is the wife of Citadel Athletic Hall of Famer Paul Gillis ‘80.
Give the cheerleaders a lot of credit and a hand. Help them help us. They’re here for us, the fans, in addition to the Corps of Cadets.
The next time you see one of our cheerleaders, it would be great to say “thank you” for their spirit, hard work and the value they add to our gameday experience.