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Tyrone Senior to Cheer at Gannon University

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Tyrone is home to many sports and many dedicated athletes, but not all of them participate under the schools’ name. One of the most successful Tyrone athletes in a non-varsity sport this year is senior All-Star Cheerleader Garett Matley.

Matley’s team recently placed in a national competition in Orlando, and he also plans to continue cheering competitively for Gannon University in the fall.

Matley began his cheer career at a gymnastics gym in Altoona with a tumbling class. Tyrone High Alumni Hailey Durbin convinced him to consider competition cheering. Matley credits Durbin and cheer coach Stephanie Jacoby for inspiring him to dedicate himself to the sport.  He currently has two full cheer seasons under his belt.

All Star Cheer is built differently than regular cheerleading squads. Rather than being varsity or junior varsity, All-Star has levels which are based on the difficulty of tumbling, stunting, and other factors.

While many think of cheerleading simply as holding pom-poms and supporting players on the court or field, All-Star cheerleading routines are two and a half minute choreographed performances focused on stunting, tumbling, and a “dance section.”

“It is embarrassing and annoying,” said Matley when asked about All Star and spirit cheer, “All-Star is completely different than school cheer. School cheer is a joke when compared to All Star cheer.”

It makes me very upset that this is my last year. I have only had one year of cheer and I wish I would’ve gotten involved sooner. I am going to Gannon and competing on their competitive cheer team”

— senior Garett Matley

Cheering at Xtreme Cheer All Stars in Northern Cambria, Matley was on two different teams: Senior 2 and Senior 4. Being the only guy on his teams made both of them “coed.”

Matley’s coach started her own cheer career when she was only nine. She grew to love the sport and it was a huge part of her life. She decided to coach because she loves kids, and has knowledge of the sport.

“Watching kids win competitions and achieve their goals is by far one of the best feelings in the world. I love helping kids do things they never thought they could do,” said Jacoby.

Last year, Matley and his Senior 2 team received a bid to attend the D2 Summit in Orlando, Florida and compete the ESPN Worldwide Sports Arena.

“The D2 Summit is like the Super Bowl of All-Star cheerleading…these kids put in hard work and it really pays off. I am so proud for such a small town gym that is known nationally,” said Jacoby.

Within just two seasons, Matley has earned seven national awards, including 5th place at the Orlando, Florida Summit competition; at the Summit, his team made it to day two of the competition.

Even though his All Star high school experience has ended, Matley is continuing his cheerleading career at Gannon University where he will be on the competition cheer team.

“It makes me very upset that this is my last year. I have only had one year of cheer and I wish I would’ve gotten involved sooner. I am going to Gannon and competing on their competitive cheer team,” said Matley.

“Garett came to my gym two years ago and I instantly fell in love with the determination and drive this kid had…Garett was a great team leader and inspiration to all the younger athletes at our gym…Not only is Garett a great athlete, he is also a great kid. He and I have a pretty close bond and I am so sad that his time with Allstar cheer has ended. The gym won’t be the same without him,” said Jacoby.

Garett came to my gym two years ago and I instantly fell in love with the determination and drive this kid had…Garett was a great team leader and inspiration to all the younger athletes at our gym…Not only is Garett a great athlete, he is also a great kid. He and I have a pretty close bond and I am so sad that his time with Allstar cheer has ended. The gym won’t be the same without him,”

— senior Garett Matley

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About the Writer
Olivia Watson, News Editor

Hi! My name is Olivia Watson, and I am a senior. I have spent my whole life at Tyrone and have always been a proud Golden Eagle. While I have been at this...

4 Comments

4 Responses to “Tyrone Senior to Cheer at Gannon University”

  1. Cris Hunter on May 29th, 2018 1:15 pm

    Congratulations to Garrett as he takes the next step in Collegiate Cheerleading that few get to experience. He is correct in the fact that Allstar cheer is a totally different experience than High School cheer. Competing at Level 2 or 4 or higher at Allstar level vs PIAA under Varsity size regulations is different. You also have High School Sideline vs Competitive cheer. This takes an exceptional athlete that puts in the time of a very long season with drive and dedication and is no joke.

    Again, congratulations Garrett on all your Allstar accomplishment during your HS years.

  2. Stacie watson on May 29th, 2018 2:19 pm

    It’s sad to see you Graduate and not be able to use your talent with the Tyrone Cheerleading. But you have proven to many that you had talent and went above and beyond. The best part of watching you grow was not just your mom’s post on Facebook but watching you show your talent to showdowns at basketball games with the other squad!! ( On your own). You will be awesome in no matter what you do and go in your adventure to come!!!
    Rock that Floor make us proud.

  3. Dawnett on May 30th, 2018 12:12 pm

    Awww thanks Stacie you are so kind and he will miss this level of All Star cheer and miss going to the school events and doing what he loves no matter what…but it will be exciting to follow him on his next adventure.

  4. tom parrish on July 5th, 2018 7:33 pm

    as I gay man myself,im proud of garett matley not only is he living the dream.he is fierce he brings it,he has paved the way of the era of no youcant. to yes you can. iwent to Altoona area high school in 1994.i hated school because kids can be mean if your gay.the only tool I had was this,ill just show them what this gay cando.i let my work speak for its self.all I know im a success and the bullys who knows.

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Tyrone Senior to Cheer at Gannon University