Mercer cheerleader looks to leave a legacy


Image: Jenna Eason

Darby Rich is a senior on the cheerleading squad who is sad about leaving, but she says she looks forward to seeing what type of impact she leaves behind.

Rylee Kirk, Staff Writer

Darby Rich’s cheerleading career of nine years is drawing to a close.

Rich started cheerleading in seventh grade after quitting gymnastics. “The next logical step to keep up my skills was to participate in cheerleading,” Rich said.

Rich has been a cheerleader at Mercer for four years and says she has loved her time cheering.

Rich says that cheerleading helps her “combat the stresses of school.” Rich is very involved with Mercer, being on the orientation team, cheerleading and school work.

Rich’s coach, Penny Pitts, said that she is “an impeccable cheerleader,” and known for “being the girl that walks all the way across the basketball court on her hands during time outs.”

Rich’s favorite part about being on the cheer squad is being the motivator when Mercer is on the “cusp of a win.”

The cheerleading team travels with the football team to most SoCon games as well as cheering the Bears here at home. The team also attends every home basketball game and attends some soccer and volleyball games. The cheerleaders also make special appearances at events for Mercer, and may even travel to the NCA Nationals Cheer Competition this year.

“I really like keeping the spirit,” she said. “It’s really important to Mercer’s atmosphere.”

Coach Pitts says Rich “has a passion for promoting the whole Mercer experience.”

Rich’s favorite memory of being a cheerleader here at Mercer was being one of three freshmen to cheer at the Duke game.

“I’ve put so much hard work into it. Being a senior and a captain . . . it’s just . . . sad.” Rich said when asked if she would miss cheerleading. “But, it’ll be good to see what sort of legacy I leave.”