Feb. 3, 2003
Carbondale, Ill. - Southern Illinois University Spirit Coordinator Nancy Esling has been selected to be a judge at the Universal Cheerleaders Association National High School Competition in Orlando, Fla. on February 7-8. Esling will be participating as a judge for the fourth time at the nationally televised ESPN event.
"I am excited to go and see all of the talent and excitement an event of this nature brings together. It's great sharing time and notes with colleagues. Select coaches from around the country are invited to judge, so it is an honor. To be asked to repeat as a judge indicates trust in the judge's competence and this is my fourth year," added Esling.
Esling's responsibilities will involve judging the preliminary, semifinals, and final round competitions. There are a variety of divisions including junior high, junior varsity, small varsity, medium varsity, large varsity, small coed and large coed. Teams are placed in divisions according to age or grade, the number of team members, number of boys on the team, and non-building teams. All-girl stunts (teams of four) and coed stunts will also be judged.
In addition to the experience of judging a national event, Esling's presence will benefit SIU and the recruitment of future Saluki cheerleaders, dancers and mascots.
"This honor can certainly help when talking with a potential cheerleader. Some potential students have actually competed in this event. Most have seen it on ESPN and aspire to it. It makes a positive impression on the cheerleader to have a coach who has judged nationally. Judges at the event are introduced by name and school. Thousands of potential collegiate cheerleaders and their parents will repeatedly hear Southern Illinois University each time I am introduced," added Esling.
Esling is in her 16th year overall at SIU and her 14th year as the Spirit Coordinator. Prior to coaching at SIU, she coached cheerleaders at Carbondale Community High School for nine years. Esling is an SIU alum who cheered for the 1975 NIT team and 1977 NCAA Sweet 16 men's basketball team. She also cheered at nearby Unity Point School and Carbondale Community before cheering at SIU.
Esling's squads have qualified for the National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) competition four times, placing as high as 17th nationally in 1998. Her 1997 squad competed in and won the Cheerleaders of America (COA) regional competition in 1997.