#BeingAGladiator – JCU Cheerleaders

Our varsity soccer, coed volleyball, and coed basketball teams make up a large portion of the activities that happen within JCU Athletics, but behind the games, a team is developing that could quite possibly be seen as the most important part of JCU spirit and pride…

The JCU Cheerleading team has become the voices of our players and students – we know that this Spring semester we will see this team grow!

Veteran cheerleader and JCU degree seeker, Sheryl Ragnetti, told us all about her experience as a JCU cheerleader, and how she hopes to see the team transform.  Sheryl also participates in the ‘CheerDance’ class held every Tuesday at 5:15 pm in the Fitness Center located at the Gianicolo Residence. At the JCU home games, you can find her cheering along side our mascot, ‘Maximus’, making sure everyone knows just how much pride John Cabot University has!

Sheryl Ragnetti, is a degree-seeker at JCU majoring in Marketing with a minor in Communications. She is Italian and was born in Senigallia and is from Marotta (Marche region). Sheryl did artistic gymnastics for 11 years, starting with her best friend at the age of 5! She moved on to hip hop as well for 4 years with a school project called “Dance Olympics”. Sheryl joined the JCU cheerleading team – now the cheer-dance team- in the Fall of 2016, getting the opportunity to combine her two passions for dance and artistic gymnastics.

When did you start cheering for JCU?

I joined the cheerleading team my very first semester. I was incredibly excited to be a cheerleader: I had always been fascinated by this sport although I had never tried it before because cheerleading is barely known in Italy and there is just one team in my region, Marche, but too far away from home for me to join

 Why should a study abroad or degree seeker should join the team/class, and what do you need to join the team?

It is a great opportunity to meet new people and make new friendships. You do not need particular skills, to be super fit or a deep knowledge of the sport. A cheerleader named Jennifer from Tennessee, once said “Not every girl can be a cheerleader, it takes a special kind. Cheerleaders are full of life and a little bit out of their mind.” So, as far as you have the courage to put yourself out there, you are ready to join the team. We have performances during the games against other Roman universities and we have also participated at the opening night of theatre performances and then been featured on national news and TV programs (receiving free tickets for the shows in return)

How you want to see the cheerleading team grow?

I would love to see the cheerleading team featured in the official JCU newspaper and invited to take part in every game. I want a team proud of existing and that is officially recognized by the whole university and not seen as a mysterious entity that no one knows about. We are the voices of our players and of our students, and we have to show who is the best university in in Rome.

Do you think it is better for JCU cheerleading now that we have the mascot?

I really think that the JCU mascot has been a great idea. Many universities in Rome have mascots, but no one has a mascot and a team of cheerleaders! This is what makes JCU unique.

Anything else to add about the team, how we can make it grow!

I would love the idea of organizing an Athletics/Gladiators’ Day during which all those who are part of one or more teams in JCU go to class wearing the uniform of their team. This could increase the visibility not only of the cheerleading team, but also of all the other sports.


A big thanks to Sheryl for not only taking the time to do an interview with us, but for consistently being the biggest believer in JCU spirit!! Thank you Sheryl!

It’s easy to get involved with JCU Athletics and any of our sports teams, like our cheerleading team, this semester! Visit the JCU Athletics table in the Tiber cafe during lunch hours of orientation week all next week to find out about the teams, trips, and fitness classes we offer.

#GoGladiators #JCUCheerleading #JCURome #JCUPride