Even Cheerleaders Clash in Capital Classic - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Even Cheerleaders Clash in Capital Classic

Posted:
CHARLESTON -

How exciting it was when WVU took on Marshall on that flashy new Civic Center court and each side sweated it out to the last second, doing all they could to take down the in-state rival.

What? No, not the basketball game. That thing was over halfway through the second half.

I'm talking about the battle between the two cheerleading squads.

If that doesn't get you pumped up in a way you never thought cheerleading could, I don't know what to tell you.

The basketball teams have played each other 40 times, but this game within the game is just scratching the surface of the potential it will surely reach.

Let's review the rules.

In fact, let's not call them rules, because no one seems to follow them. Instead, we'll review its history and what it was meant to be.

"Basically what it started out as is a friendly competition between Marshall [and WVU]," says Eric Jenkins, a two-year cheerleader and the hero of this story. "It's a way for the cheerleaders to do a rivalry. What we'll do is called a partner stunt, so we have one guy and one girl hold up a stunt like this and just hold it as long as you can."

Only not every abides by those guidelines.

Two years ago, Kendra Bryant and Zack Mayes were the last Mountaineers standing while the Herd's cheerios scrambled to support the leg of their final contestant. It was an entire team against one couple, and the couple won.

That's the first time I ever saw this beautiful spectacle go down, and I was hooked ever since.

Last year, if memory serves, Marshall began with more cheerleaders suspended in the air and tried a new tactic, which involved placing multiple females at the base rather than one male. Advantage or not, the Herd won. The Mountaineers were infuriated.

At halftime on Wednesday, I met with these cheerleaders, many of whom felt the sting of defeat last season, and I told them how important it was to the WVU fans in attendance that they don't lose again. I have no actual proof that anyone would have cared, but they must have.

The cheerleaders certainly do.

"This is all we think about the whole game. This is all we care about," says Kelsey Pennington, the heroine.

Needless to say, the entire arena was anxiously waiting for the first called timeout of the half and the competition began. How Bob Huggins kept his players' attention in that huddle is beyond me.

Again Marshall sent out female forces, West Virginia took exception and fought back.

"They set out some multiple guy and multiple girl stunts, so they kind of in a way cheated there," says Jenkins.

Jenkins and Pennington held their stunt longer than any other couple. Pennington and Marshall's representative stared at each other (or so it seemed, who really knows?), trying to get in the other's head.

Pennington's leg must have been killing her and Jenkins couldn't have had any blood left in his arms, so the rest of the team came for support. Just as Pennington looked ready to topple to the floor, she found a second wind and did a nifty heel stretch that drew a large roar from the West Virginia fans (see, they do care!).

That Marshall cheerleader was amazed and dropped out. Victory to the Mountaineers.

The Herd will cry foul and claim the Mountaineers cheated. Well, sure they did, but until there is some sort of governing body in this most courageous of competitions, both sides will find ways to come out on top.

"Our coach says just to come out here, she says, ‘I don't care how you do it, just win,'" says Pennington, who did Coach Christy Davis proud. "She really wants us to win, we all want to win because we're really big rivals with them."

Pennington says the cheerleaders practice this move everyday after practice and the last time they tried it, they did held it one minute and 13 seconds. Wednesday's lasted at least a minute and a half.

Next year, there needs to be a rule limiting it to couples of one male and one female. Pennington has a message for Marshall as they begin the 360-some-day countdown until the next showdown.

"Just practice," she says. "Practice hard because we practice all the time."

"Bring it on," Marshall responds. 

"Oh, it's already been broughten," says WVU.

  • BasketballMore>>

  • 2017-18 WVU Men’s Basketball Schedule

    2017-18 WVU Men’s Basketball Schedule

    Bob Huggins looks on as the Mountaineers practice at the SAP Center in San Jose. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)Bob Huggins looks on as the Mountaineers practice at the SAP Center in San Jose. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (August 31, 2017) – West Virginia University Director of Athletics Shane Lyons and the Big 12 Conference have announced the 2017-18 men’s basketball schedule. 

    MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (August 31, 2017) – West Virginia University Director of Athletics Shane Lyons and the Big 12 Conference have announced the 2017-18 men’s basketball schedule. 

  • Da'Sean Butler leads efforts to provide aid to flood victims

    Da'Sean Butler leads efforts to provide aid to flood victims

    Former WVU basketball players join Da'Sean Butler at Playoffs Bar and Grill to collect donations for flood relief.Former WVU basketball players join Da'Sean Butler at Playoffs Bar and Grill to collect donations for flood relief.

    WVU hoops alum brings together an all-star lineup of Mountaineers to help give back to the local community. 

    WVU hoops alum brings together an all-star lineup of Mountaineers to help give back to the local community. 

  • WATCH: Former Mountaineers Recap Alumni Game

    WATCH: Former Mountaineers Recap Alumni Game

    Sunday, July 30 2017 2:54 PM EDT2017-07-30 18:54:45 GMT
    Juwan Staten high-fives his teammates as he takes the court during the WV Men's Basketball Alumni Game (PHOTO: Anjelica Trinone).Juwan Staten high-fives his teammates as he takes the court during the WV Men's Basketball Alumni Game (PHOTO: Anjelica Trinone).

    The Final Four edges Press Virginia in this year's WV Men's Basketball Alumni Game. Hear more from the former Mountaineers as they recap the action from Saturday night.

    The Final Four edges Press Virginia in this year's WV Men's Basketball Alumni Game. Hear more from the former Mountaineers as they recap the action from Saturday night.

  • More SportsMore>>

  • Izzo-Brown Inducted into WVSA Hall of Fame

    Izzo-Brown Inducted into WVSA Hall of Fame

    Monday, September 18 2017 1:34 PM EDT2017-09-18 17:34:43 GMT
    WVSA announces induction of WVU women’s soccer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown as meritorious member into WVSA Hall of Fame - Class of 2018. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)WVSA announces induction of WVU women’s soccer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown as meritorious member into WVSA Hall of Fame - Class of 2018. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    The West Virginia Soccer Association has announced the induction of WVU women's soccer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown, as a meritorious member into the WVSA Hall of Fame - Class of 2018.

    The West Virginia Soccer Association has announced the induction of WVU women's soccer coach Nikki Izzo-Brown, as a meritorious member into the WVSA Hall of Fame - Class of 2018.

  • Inside WVU Game Day: The Mountaineer Mascot

    Inside WVU Game Day: The Mountaineer Mascot

    Sunday, September 17 2017 10:32 AM EDT2017-09-17 14:32:13 GMT
    The Mountaineer Mascot celebrates a WVU touchdown at FedEx Field.The Mountaineer Mascot celebrates a WVU touchdown at FedEx Field.

    The atmosphere at Milan Puskar Stadium on game day is truly unlike any other and the Mountaineer mascot plays a big part in making the experience one of a kind.

    The atmosphere at Milan Puskar Stadium on game day is truly unlike any other and the Mountaineer mascot plays a big part in making the experience one of a kind.

  • No. 3 Mountaineers Swarm Spiders

    No. 3 Mountaineers Swarm Spiders

    Sunday, September 10 2017 5:18 PM EDT2017-09-10 21:18:38 GMT
    Michaela Abam and the WVU women's soccer team earned a 3-0 victory over Richmond on Sunday. (PHOTO: Anjelica Trinone)Michaela Abam and the WVU women's soccer team earned a 3-0 victory over Richmond on Sunday. (PHOTO: Anjelica Trinone)

    The No. 3-ranked WVU women’s soccer team earned its fifth win of the season on Sunday. Hear from Coach Izzo-Brown and the Mountaineers after the win.

    The No. 3-ranked WVU women’s soccer team earned its fifth win of the season on Sunday. Hear from Coach Izzo-Brown and the Mountaineers after the win.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Game Recap: WVU Survives in Lawrence

    Game Recap: WVU Survives in Lawrence

    Heading into Saturday’s game between West Virginia (3-1) and Kansas (1-3) a lot of the talk surrounded the two quarterbacks, Will Grier and Peyton Bender. One of the best rushing performances in Kansas football history kept the Jayhawks within striking distance, but WVU proved to be too much, holding on 56-34. 

    Heading into Saturday’s game between West Virginia (3-1) and Kansas (1-3) a lot of the talk surrounded the two quarterbacks, Will Grier and Peyton Bender. One of the best rushing performances in Kansas football history kept the Jayhawks within striking distance, but WVU proved to be too much, holding on 56-34. 

  • WATCH: WVU Assistants, Players Talk Win Over Kansas

    WATCH: WVU Assistants, Players Talk Win Over Kansas

    Watch full postgame coverage of West Virginia Football Head Coach Dana Holgorsen and his players as they spoke with the media following their win, on the road, at Kansas.

    Watch full postgame coverage of West Virginia Football Head Coach Dana Holgorsen and his players as they spoke with the media following their win, on the road, at Kansas.

  • WATCH: WVU Coach Holgorsen Postgame Presser

    WATCH: WVU Coach Holgorsen Postgame Presser

    Watch full video of West Virginia Head Coach Dana Holgorsen as he addresses the media following the Mountaineers' win over Kansas. 
    Watch full video of West Virginia Head Coach Dana Holgorsen as he addresses the media following the Mountaineers' win over Kansas. 
  • PHOTOS: WVU Gets Win at Kansas

    PHOTOS: WVU Gets Win at Kansas

    Browse photos taken by WVi Photographer, Geoff Coyle, of the Mountaineers' win, on the road, over Kansas. 
    Browse photos taken by WVi Photographer, Geoff Coyle, of the Mountaineers' win, on the road, over Kansas. 
  • WVU Defense Builds Depth Through Injury

    WVU Defense Builds Depth Through Injury

    WVU senior linebacker Al-Rasheed Benton celebrates a sack against Delaware State. (PHOTO: Scott Lituchy)WVU senior linebacker Al-Rasheed Benton celebrates a sack against Delaware State. (PHOTO: Scott Lituchy)

    Dylan Tonkery, Marvin Gross and Kenny Robinson step up for the Mountaineer defense as team deals with injuries and open competition. 

    Dylan Tonkery, Marvin Gross and Kenny Robinson step up for the Mountaineer defense as team deals with injuries and open competition. 

  • 2017-18 WVU Men’s Basketball Schedule

    2017-18 WVU Men’s Basketball Schedule

    Bob Huggins looks on as the Mountaineers practice at the SAP Center in San Jose. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)Bob Huggins looks on as the Mountaineers practice at the SAP Center in San Jose. (PHOTO: Geoff Coyle)

    MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (August 31, 2017) – West Virginia University Director of Athletics Shane Lyons and the Big 12 Conference have announced the 2017-18 men’s basketball schedule. 

    MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (August 31, 2017) – West Virginia University Director of Athletics Shane Lyons and the Big 12 Conference have announced the 2017-18 men’s basketball schedule. 

  • Dana Holgorsen's Postgame News Conference LIVE on WVi

    Dana Holgorsen's Postgame News Conference LIVE on WVi

    WVi will be streaming Dana Holgorsen's Postgame News Conferences LIVE following each home game throughout the season. It all begins with the opener against Marshall.
  • Woman's Body Found in Kanawha River Idenitified

    Woman's Body Found in Kanawha River Idenitified

    Friday, September 22 2017 7:33 PM EDT2017-09-22 23:33:57 GMT
    Photojournalist Randy McKinneyPhotojournalist Randy McKinney

    KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) - A body has been found in the Kanawha River. The body was discovered around 11:10 a.m. near Dow Chemical on Blaine Island near South Charleston according to dispatchers. South Charleston Police are currently investigating the incident. No other details are available at this time. We will provide more information on this story as soon as we receive it.

    KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) - A body has been found in the Kanawha River. The body was discovered around 11:10 a.m. near Dow Chemical on Blaine Island near South Charleston according to dispatchers. South Charleston Police are currently investigating the incident. No other details are available at this time. We will provide more information on this story as soon as we receive it.