The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

May 13, 2012

Pittsburg couple turn passion into cheering business

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Quentin and Monica Holmes just can’t get away from cheering. Not that they would want to.

Quentin started on the Pittsburg State University cheerleading squad in 2003, met Monica and introduced her to cheerleading. She joined the squad, and they cheered together for the Gorillas, graduated and married, and began living happily ever after.

Quentin didn’t stray far from campus. An engineering technology graduate, he was hired last year as the director of major gifts for PSU’s College of Technology. As such, he is responsible for connecting with alumni and friends, and raising private support for the college.

But his cheerleading days are far from finished. He and Monica decided to pass their passion for the sport on to area youths by opening The Cheer Pitt in February 2009.

Beginning with one all-star competition team, they billed the venture as a chance to learn and perfect cheerleading and tumbling.

Last week, Quentin called me to share the good news. Having grown their business to include five cheer teams and one hip-hop team of youths ranging in age from 5 to 18, they racked up an impressive list of finishes last season: 27 first places, eight second places, five third places, two fourth places, one fifth place, two sportsmanship awards, one most entertaining award, five spirit awards, three grand champion titles, seven national champion titles, and one U.S. Finals champion title.

“We are a gym from a small town that started our first year as nobodies, and now we are known as the team to beat,” Quentin said. “What a great feeling.”

The young participants come from across the area: Pittsburg, Frontenac, Girard, Fort Scott, Joplin, Carthage, Carl Junction, Webb City, Riverton, Columbus, Galena. Their competitions take them as far as Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.

But beyond the awards, Quentin and Monica derive satisfaction from seeing youths bond and build friendships with those who share a common interest. They love seeing youngsters get active and fit. They like knowing they are helping to foster life lessons and values the athletes will have forever: hard work, dedication and determination, just like the couple had when they began cheering.

They consider their teams champions in every sense of the word.

Quentin told me that their excitement and passion for helping to mold those champions has not wavered. They are looking forward to a new season of tryouts this week for all competition teams, starting Tuesday and continuing through Saturday. Parents and youths who are interested may contact them at 620-875-6243 or email thecheerpitt@hotmail.com.

Meanwhile, like anyone who spent years in Carnie Smith Stadium cheering for the Crimson and Gold, Quentin and Monica are looking forward to a new season of Gorilla football this fall. These days, they do their cheering from the stands. But who knows, said Quentin; maybe one day they’ll see one of their Cheer Pitt youths leading the crowd.

Have an idea for a column? Email astefanoni@joplinglobe.com, or visit Facebook at Andra Bryan Stefanoni, Staff Writer - The Joplin Globe. Visit the Globe’s newest Facebook page at Joplin Globe: Pittsburg, Kan.

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