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ESU Cheer Team Joins Athletic Bands, Tryouts Saturday

A group of cheerleaders, both men and women, walk in a parade

The Emporia State University cheer squad has moved under the umbrella of ESU Athletic Bands in the music program of the School of Visual and Performing Arts. The move puts into one place all aspects of fan spirit experience for athletic competitions.

The move also brings a benefit for cheerleaders. Each will receive an academic electrive credit for their participation each semester as well as the athletic band stipend for both fall and spring semesters.

Growth of the athletic band programs brings new duties and a new title for Jennifer Woodworth, who has directed the ESU colorguard since 2016 and the Stingers dance team since 2020. She will oversee all non-instrumental facets of the Emporia Marching Hornets as the director of the ESU spirit teams.

“I am excited to take on this extra responsibility of ensuring that Hornet Cheer continues to thrive, and to build on the great foundation that Angela Blaufuss-Nunley had built in this cheerleading team,” said Woodworth. “I am really looking forward to leading these hard working and dedicated student cheerleaders, and to continue cultivating outstanding teamwork between the colorguard, cheerleaders, and Stingers dance team.”

Auditions for the Hornet Cheer will be Saturday, and those interested in auditioning need to fill out this form: The form closes at 11:59 p.m. Friday. If you have questions, feel free to contact Jennifer Woodworth at

Under Woodworth’s leadership both colorguard and Stingers have received several top three finishes for their respective competitive circuits. The Stingers earned a virtual championship in 2021 and a regional championship in 2022. During spring 2023, ESU Colorguard, known competitively as “Elegante Independent” Winterguard, finished second in their competitive championships, and Stingers finished first and second at a dance competition in Liberty, Missouri.

The 2023-24 season is Woodworth’s 18th year as a coach. She earned a master of science degree in health, physical education and recreation from ESU in 2022.