CBU welcomes new sport

Danielle Lutjens | Banner | Asia Morgan, senior psychology major, waves to the crowd during a stunt at a California Baptist University women's basketball game.

California Baptist University athletics announced a new sports program, STUNT, coming fall 2020 with a new team and head coach.

Although STUNT is a different sport than cheer, it has been a part of the CBU cheer program for three years. Some blue or gold cheer athletes previously competed in STUNT competitions on the side. Since STUNT is not the same as cheerleading, it requires a formally assembled team to compete against other schools.

CBU hired its former assistant cheer coach, Brandon Seagondollar, to lead the newly formed team starting in the 2020-2021 school year.

“STUNT is a game that involves four quarters in a match where each team goes on the floor at the same time and performs a set routine of skills,” Seagondollar said. “The team who demonstrates the most precision, cleanest skills, and overall performs the routine the best is awarded the point. At the end of each match, a winner is announced based on the cumulative points earned throughout the match.”

Now that STUNT has its own team, it can focus on the required skill set needed to perform a specific Stunt routine.

CBU STUNT competed in two competitions recently. The team won all three games in the first competition Jan. 8 against Arizona State University, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and the University of California, Davis. It was the first time in CBU STUNT history that the program won its game. At Riverside Community College on Feb. 20, the STUNT team lost by one point in overtime.

Even though the team formed out of current cheer members is doing well, Seagondollar  said he plans to be selective in his search for members next season.

“As a coach, when looking for athletes for the STUNT team, I look for overall well-rounded, positive athletes that are willing to put in the work to become a national winning team,” Seagondollar said.

Seagondollar’s position is of utmost importance to the team and his coaching strategies are what could make or break a performance.

Sierra Carlin, senior liberal studies major, participated in STUNT through cheer since the STUNT program started and will perform exclusively with the STUNT team next year.

“It is really important for STUNT to be a distinct sport because, as of now, we are attempting to cram STUNT practice time into our regular practice times, and it just is not enough time to do all of the preparation that is necessary for the sport,” Carlin said.

Memory Reardon, junior early childhood studies major, said she believes coaching STUNT is about strategy and that Seagondollar is the right person for the job.

“Coaching STUNT has more to do with strategy than coaching a regular cheer team. You have to know the other teams’ weaknesses and strengths to be able to know what routines to call. I would describe Brandon’s coaching style as determined; he is hungry to win,” Reardon said.

The STUNT team has three more competitions this season: against Brigham Young University at Riverside Community College on March 13, against Concordia University Irvine at Riverside Community College on March 15 and against Vanguard at a competition at Vanguard University on March 27.

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