New NCAA Division III STUNT team to begin next Fall at MC

On March 21, Maryville College added its 17th varsity sport, STUNT. This will be a new part of the Maryville College athletic program as a female-forward team, hopefully competing in conferences in the near future. STUNT is the fastest growing sport in the country, and according to Maryville College’s director of athletics, Sara Quatrocky, Maryville College wants to be one of the first in the country to hop on the bandwagon.

“I’ve been watching other institutions that are about our size add the sport and see what their success level has been, and it just got passed in January at the NCAA Division III convention as an emerging sport for women.”

Quatrocky explained that there was a growing need for female-forward athletic teams at Maryville College, and STUNT was the perfect addition to the athletic roster to fit that criteria. 

The USA Cheer website describes competitive STUNT as a sport that “removes the crowd-leading element and focuses on the technical and athletic components of cheer, including partner stunts, pyramids, basket tosses, group jumps and tumbling.”

Each game has four quarters and lasts from 45-60 minutes. It will be added as a spring sport at Maryville College.

Recent news of the STUNT team has raised questions from alumni and students regarding how the current cheerleading team will be affected by STUNT’s new addition to the college. Courtlyn Walsh, sophomore, has been a member of the cheerleading team for two seasons and previously competed on STUNT teams in her younger years.

“I have seen firsthand that this STUNT sport takes away from the cheer teams when not incorporated properly.”

Walsh said that in her experience, when schools add STUNT as a sport, they lose many of their cheerleaders due to the focus shifted away from cheer and toward the STUNT team. Quatrocky assured that cheerleading will not lose any focus from the school.

“There’s not a performance [in STUNT], whereas with the cheer team that we have, they are a club sport that provides spirit, which is very important to what we do here. We’re not changing a thing we do to the cheer team. We invest into the cheer team. They will still have their coach and the resources that they need to be successful, but it is two separate things.”

The new STUNT team will have a “year zero” in which the main focus will be recruitment, camps, clinics and combines to set the team up for the most success going into their first competing year. Maryville College plans to host a combine for STUNT next fall, hoping to recruit students to join the college as well as the team.

The athletic department is working to narrow down the finalists for the STUNT head coach position. Quatrocky emphasized the importance of finding a leader that will inspire students to work to their full potential, describing the perfect candidate as someone who will inspire young women.

“We’re women, we need to be able to graduate and have confidence to go out there and be strong, and have a lot of skills when we leave here.”

If you are interested in joining the Maryville College STUNT team, reach out to Sara Quatrocky at [email protected] or attend the combine this coming Fall. For more information, follow Maryville College Athletics on Facebook and @mcscots on Instagram.

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