JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — Two cheerleaders from Bishop McCort Catholic High School announced their plans to continue their education at the college level during a signing ceremony Wednesday.
Sophia Kuzmyak will attend the University of Delaware and major in sports management with the goal of becoming a social media marketing manager for a National Hockey League organization.
Hailey Jeanjaquet will attend St. Francis University in Loretto and major in nursing to pursue a career as a travel or pediatric nurse practitioner.
“Very good students. Very good ladies. Very good character,” said John Walker, Catholic coach at Bishop McCort, who has helped 10 athletes advance to the NCAA Division I level in more than 30 years in the program.
“They will succeed in whatever they do. I’m really proud of them and can’t wait to see what they will do in their future.
Kuzmyak has been a program cheerleader for 10 years and has been on Bishop McCort UCA National Championship teams in 2019 and 2021, two PIAA Championship teams in 2020 and 2021, and four District 6 Championship teams.
“It’s been our dream for as long as I can remember,” Kuzmyak said. “I started when I was in third grade. My coaches like Dr. Walker made sure we had everything we needed to get to this point in our careers, which is super exciting. We couldn’t be more grateful for each of them because obviously I wouldn’t be in D1 without them.
She was also a Turners All-Star cheerleader for 12 years and a member of the Turners All-Star Hip Hop Dance team for seven years. Along with Turners, Kuzmyak was part of the teams for the Summit National Championships in 2018, 2019 and 2021 and the One National Dance Championship in 2019 and 2021.
The daughter of Christopher and Shannon Kuzmyak is a member of SADD, the reading team, cheer club and captain of the Mini-THON committee.
“There’s a lot of pressure because of the legacy left in the program here,” Kuzmyak said.
“You want to create a better one for the kids who are going to come after you. Winning all those championships is a great feeling, but hard work and what the coaches teach you mean so much more.
Jeanjaquet was part of two UCA High School National Championship teams (2019, 2021), two PIAA State Championship teams (2020, 2021), and four District 6 Championship teams.
“I’ve been cheering for 11 years and can’t wait to see where my future is,” Jeanjaquet said.
“It was a lot of hard work. You must be patient. You must remain persistent and consistent. You have to work hard every minute you’re in the gym, on and off the mat. Even when we are not training, we will have training on the side. After winning those competitions, it was very rewarding after all the work that went into it and seeing the result.
Academically, she has been an honor roll student since her freshman year and a member of both the National Honor Society and the French Honor Society.
Daughter of Katherine Jeanjaquet Kohan, she is a member of the GIFT Club, Genesis/Ecology Club, Key Club, L’Education en Vogue, Mini-THON, MPowerment Leadership Club, Rosary Club and SADD.
“My mother and brother inspired me to become a nurse,” Jeanjaquet said. “With everything going on in the world, it’s really necessary. Anything to help.
His brother Grant Jeanjaquet, a former Bishop McCort standout athlete, is a sophomore majoring in nursing at St. Vincent College.
Mike Mastovich is a sports journalist and columnist for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at 814-532-5083. Follow him on Twitter @Masty81.
Mike Mastovich is a sports journalist and columnist for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at (814) 532-5083. Follow him on Twitter @Masty81.