Cheerleader injured in practice

Student medevacked for injury to neck

By Dave Nasongkhla

On Wednesday, September 12, cheerleader Amber Lassen, a sophomore, was injured during a stunt in the gym during the team’s evening practice.

Campus Safety responded to a call at approximately 6 p.m. for a neck injury to an athletic student, according to a Campus Safety report.

Ultimately, Lassen had to be flown to the R. Adams Crowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore for her injuries.

Members of the Green Terror cheerleading squad confirm that, as a group, they agreed not to comment about the incident.

It has been reported, but unconfirmed that Lassen was positioned to catch a cheerleader during a stunt, but the stunt failed and Lassen was accidentally kicked in the head.

“Injuries are a risk cheerleaders take,” said team coach Susan Prodoehl. “It’s unfortunate when someone gets hurt.”

Prodoehl stated that medical personnel on scene did what they thought was necessary in deciding to have Lassen flown to shock trauma. The coach said that she and Lassen have spoken since Wednesday evening.

“Amber said she is doing ok, and will return to practice on Monday,” Prodoehl said.

“Generally I’m doing a lot better, but get occasional headaches,” confirmed Lassen. She said she is scheduled to return to shock trauma in October for a follow-up review.

Cheerleading safety has been an issue for quite some time now. Just last year, a cheerleader at Southern Illinois University fell off of a human pyramid during a cheerleading performance. She suffered a chipped vertebrae and a bruised lung, but has recovered since, according to

As a result, the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators recommended banning basket tosses and high pyramids without mats. Though the group has no authority to prevent such routines, the NCAA requires cheerleading squads to conform to AACCA’s requirements, accordingto an AACCA press release on December 19, 2006.

“When I see them do the lifts and pyramids at the games, I always worry a little that something will happen,” said Lydia Eddy, a graduate of McDaniel College. “But I know they practice hard and know their stunts, though it is a little scary to watch.”

“As a cheerleader I am completely aware of the risks involved, but that is true for any athlete,” said junior and former Green Terror cheerleader April Curley.

“I have cheered for about six years and never been seriously hurt,” she added. “If I felt at anytime during my cheerleading career that I or my teammates were in danger, whether it was because we weren’t using the right techniques, we didn’t have the right equipment, then I would speak up.”

Adequate safety equipment has been an issue for sometime now amongst Green Terror Cheerleaders.

Former Cheerleader, Amy Faby, also a junior, states “McDaniel doesn’t consider cheerleading a sport and that leaves us with insufficient funds to have all the safety equipment required, such as cheerleading mats to obviously provide extra safety that is required for cheerleading.”

“I know that at the end of the day my life and the lives of my teammates are far more important than a Homecoming game,” Curley said.