Following their most recent games on Sat., Feb. 25 and Sun., Feb. 26, the Alma College STUNT team has had a successful season.
On Sat., the STUNT team took on Concordia University Ann Arbor, winning with a final score of 18 to zero. The Scots lost against Davenport University, with a final score of 13 to 14.
On Sun., the Scots competed against Cal Poly, winning with a final score of 22 to 11. The Scots won against Michigan State University with a final score of 20 to 11.
Michelle Sabourin was hired to start Alma College’s competitive cheer and STUNT in 2012.
For Sabourin, coaching cheer and STUNT is so much more than a job. “The best part of coaching… is in the development of athletes into strong adults ready for their future careers,” said Sabourin.
“Athletics provides a unique classroom to face challenges and work together with others, all [of] which build character and develop strong work ethics for their futures.”
Sabourin admits that she always enjoys a Scots victory, but doesn’t see that as the most important part. “Winning is also fun, but the reward goes far beyond the championships.”
“I feel blessed to have such hard-working athletes and to be at such a supportive institution,” said Sabourin. “We strive to represent [Division III] athletics at the highest level, showing that you can compete on a national level while also getting a top tier education.”
According to Sabourin, each season brings new challenges to navigate, and, in an ever-changing environment, problems can arise on and off the mat.
“The greatest challenge is the constant change. Each year brings a new group of athletes and new hurdles to overcome,” said Sabourin. “While the path is usually similar, every person brings a unique perspective that makes each season different than the last.”
“Between interpersonal dynamics of athletes, social media and the after-effects of the pandemic, it is never a dull moment,” said Sabourin. For the rest of the season, Sabourin and the team are hoping to continue to dominate on the mat as well as in the classroom.
“We want to finish our season strong and defend our national title in April,” said Sabourin. “Academically, we had our highest GPA in program history this past fall, so [we are aiming] to continue to set that bar high as well.”
For Hallie Dancer (’26) who has cheered since the age of six, being a part of the Alma College STUNT team has been a fun and rewarding experience.
“The most rewarding part of being on the STUNT team at Alma College is getting to see our hard work pay off,” said Dancer. “We work on aspects of STUNT from the beginning of the year so being able to show off all that work is very rewarding.”
“The most important thing I have learned so far as a collegiate athlete is that good time management is key,” said Dancer. “Being on the Cheer and STUNT team, we do not have an off season, so learning how to balance my free time on top of my coursework, practices, games and lifts can be challenging.”
“Being a part of the team is a dream come true,” said Alexandra Erbe (’25). “This team is amazing and is so supportive of one another.”
“I think . . . the most rewarding part [is] how the sidelines just go crazy for every single routine, no matter if it is the hardest or the simplest,” said Erbe. “Seeing how passionate and encouraging everyone is makes you so happy to get the opportunity to compete alongside them.”