The University of Texas-Pan American Bronc cheerleaders received national recognition recently after placing second in the Small Coed category at the Universal Cheerleaders Association College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship in Orlando, Fla.
"It feels great knowing that we worked so hard during the summer and so hard during the year just to get where we are," said Krystal Mata, cheerleader and sophomore biology major.
Dr. John Edwards, vice president for Enrollment and Student Services, honored the squad recently at a UTPA Broncs basketball game. He presented members with a rose for their dedication and accomplishment.
"The success of the cheerleaders at UTPA is of great benefit to the University. Our name is mentioned in national circles and linked with excellence in this area," said Dr. Edwards. "This speaks well of the program that Mr. Caceres has developed. It has taken him a lot of time and effort, particularly developing teamwork and pride in such a competitive arena."
Team members say they hope their accomplishment will help the University receive more national exposure.
"For the University, it brings in recruitment because a lot of cheerleaders all over the nation who are interested in cheering in the collegiate level will want to look into a squad that has competed nationally," said Denise Espinosa, cheerleader and senior education major from Edinburg. "When they see that Pan Am has been one of them, they're going to be interested in coming over here."
Charlie Caceres, UTPA cheerleading sponsor, said next year they hope to bring home first place.
"The future of the squad looks very promising," Caceres said. "I want to go back and get a championship again for the institution. I want everyone to get a championship ring, and I think we can do it."