Most Valuable Cheerleader Rick Clemons

October 4, 2010

University of Cincinnati Cheerleader Rick Clemons

Squad: The University of Cincinnati
Hometown: West Chester
Class Year: College Junior
Position: Base
Major: Finance
High School: Lakota West High School
Jobs: Americheer Staff, Champion Elite staff

Photos by Elite Photography See the rest of Rick’s photos!

If you told Rick Clemons while he was attending Lakota West High School that he would be a college cheerleader, he would have laughed.

In fact, when he called his parents his sophomore year at the University of Cincinnati to tell them he was on the squad, he couldn’t even get the sentence out without laughing. In high school, he had excelled in wrestling, track and football. He’d also been a diver and had taken gymnastics when he was younger, but cheerleading? It had never crossed his mind.

Now a junior at UC, Clemons smiles when asked about his other activities. “Cheerleading is pretty much everything,” he says.

It all started when his friend and former wrestling teammate convinced him to check out UC’s squad just as a spot opened up. Clemons quickly learned that cheerleading and wrestling incorporate a similar skill set, including precise body control. Just in his second year of cheering, he already has a standing back tuck, a roundoff full, and a punch front tuck. At the time of his MVC interview, he was working on a “low high”: an opposite leg lib at chest level, popped up to a stretch. “Stunting is fun because there’s always something to learn,” he says.

As part of UC’s squad, Clemons weightlifts two to three times a week at 6:30 a.m., and he practices three times a week for two hours each. When it comes time for UC to compete at the Universal Cheerleaders’ Association nationals in the spring, practices will be four hours about five times a week. On top of that, Clemons is on staff for Americheer summer camps and coaches gymnastics and cheer at Champion Elite in Mason. Alicia Wall, owner of Champion Elite, says that Clemons is “a huge favorite of the kids and parents alike.”

Clemons’ advice to other guys who are considering cheering: Don’t worry what other people think. He admits he was worried “for about a week,” but his friends quickly got jealous of his access to pretty girls and football games — he even went to the Sugar Bowl last year.

“A lot of guys don’t do it, but it’s actually fun.” he says. “I love football, and I get a better than front row seat to every game.”

See the rest of Rick’s photos by Elite Photography!

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