The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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SMU spirit teams anticipate growth with ACC transition

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Charleigh Berry
SMU spirit squads supporting the mustang football team on the sidelines of a football game.

Fueled by essential spirit and authentic enthusiasm, the anticipation surrounding SMU’s upcoming transition to the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) reaches beyond the athletic teams and Mustang fans.

The cheerleading and pom squad anticipate more exposure and opportunities with the conference move.
SMU’s transition to the ACC is the best thing that could’ve happened for SMU’s spirit programs on campus to excel, said Mary Krow, Assistant Director of Spirit at SMU.

“We have a great responsibility to support this shift into a new conference,” Krow said. “It’s a really exciting opportunity for our spirit teams to have this big stage to represent our school.”

SMU has maintained its position in the American Athletic Conference (AAC) since 2013. The Mustangs celebrated the announcement of their acceptance into the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and raised $100 million in one week in support of the transition in September 2023. The move has already amplified Mustang fans’ interest in a variety of athletic programs, with excitement for the upcoming athletic season.

SMU now joins the ranks of esteemed universities such as Florida State, Notre Dame, and Clemson who have established spirit programs. SMU is more than capable of getting there with that same energy, said Charleigh Berry, head cheer coach at SMU.

“I think the conference shift will be an easy adjustment for us,” Berry said. “I think there’s a lot of opportunity for us to kind of take the conference change and just kind of run with it and be able to match what other programs in our new conference are doing.”

The spirit groups anticipate having further recruiting pools to expand on and grow the skill and talent within each team. More specifically, the cheerleading squad hopes to gain more male members.

“A lot of times the drawback from SMU is the caliber of sports game they are cheering at,” Berry said. “Going to the ACC is going to really help with recruiting and exposure to our [cheer] program.”

Krow and Berry both agree that the ACC move will bolster recruitment, as they hope it will expand the spirit programs’ popularity by expanding their sideline presence at games.

“There are going to be so many students that come in and they look at the opportunity to be a part of the ACC and be on the field for these awesome games and that, to me, is going to be exciting for a potential cheer, pom, band, or mascot member,” Krow said. “I think it will increase our recruiting in the same way it has increased recruiting for athletics.”

The spirit teams are excited to be under a new spotlight as they support athletics teams during the conference transition, Mia Cassiday, two-year cheer team captain and SMU junior, added.

“We have way more eyes watching us and expectations to be perfect,” Cassiday said. “The team is beyond excited to be in a more exciting environment.”

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