The Midwest Royals All Stars cheer gym is flying high both on and off the mat under the direction of new owner and long-time coach Jenny Fergurson, who took ownership of the Litchfield-based gym in January 2020.
A Litchfield native, Fergurson is the daughter of Mike and Gail Rogers and a 2004 graduate of Litchfield High School, where she was on the LHS cheer squad. The Midwest Royals owner continues to reside in Litchfield with her husband, Quincy Fergurson, an officer with Litchfield Police Department, and their daughters, Ady and Tilly.
Fergurson has been coaching Royals athletes for the last four years but her love of cheerleading goes back to her childhood. While Fergurson never cheered competitively herself, she was a cheerleader throughout her youth.
“I have always loved cheer. I started in fifth grade cheering for a pee-wee football team and continued throughout high school,” Fergurson explained. “To be completely honest, I love anything that is competitive.”
Prior to joining the Midwest Royals coaching team, Fergurson was a manager at Snap Fitness in Litchfield. It was here that Fergurson met Beth Cherry, the founder and former owner of the Midwest Royals Cheer gym. Cherry and Fergurson struck up a friendship discussing their mutual love of fitness. One thing led to another and Fergurson ended up leaving Snap Fitness to coach under Cherry.
“At that time both of my girls were small so I was a little hesitant to take her up on the proposition. I did begin taking Ady, my oldest, in for classes and she loved it. Beth was persistent though and I found myself accepting a position as a cheerleading coach,” said Fergurson with a laugh. “ After the birth of her (Cherry’s) twins she began casually joking that I should buy the gym. One day she came to me and told me that she was serious about the offer and here I am.”
With the transition from coach to owner, Fergurson found herself stepping back into the roles she had undertaken when managing Snap Fitness. While she loves coaching, Fergurson also loves working behind the scenes to keep the gym running as well.
“I am doing a lot of what I was doing, but now I am doing it for myself,” said Fergurson.
Following the change in ownership, Cherry stayed on as a coach, spearheading the gyms competitive side. In addition to Fergurson and Cherry, coaches include the gym’s main tumbling instructor, Hailey Hancock, who also helps with competitive athletes, and Tiffany Hendricks, who works as an administrator and assists with coaching prep teams.
The Midwest Royals gym is a US All Star Federation (USASF) gym and home to 42 athletes and four competitive teams. They offer beginner to advanced classes in tumbling, recreational cheer, competitive cheer, jump training, skill camp and choreography for both competitive and non-competitive athletes from throughout the region. The Midwest Royals coaches encourage their athletes to continue their cheer careers, and boast one former athlete on the stunt team at Maryville University and several high school age athletes working towards cheering at the collegiate level. Fergurson personally reaches out to college coaches and works with her athletes to develop the skills they need to make the cut.
The Royals’ coaches dedication has paid off and their competitive teams have seen some big wins this season. All four teams qualified to compete at the U.S. Finals, in Kansas City, MO, in April. An impressive feat as the invitation-only event accepts only the top three teams in each division.
For the first time in the gym’s history, the Royals have two elite teams, senior team the “Regulators” and junior team “Girl Fight,”that qualified to compete at the D2-Summit at the ESPN Wide World of Sports, held at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL, this May. The National Summit is known as the world series of cheerleading within the competitive cheer world and is right up there with little league baseball.
“Cheer is a tough sport and you have to love it. With competitive cheer every little thing counts. Routines are judged based on a scoring grid so it is just as much about strategy and knowledge of rules and regulations as performance effort,” explained Fergurson. “Our competitive athletes are in the gym seven to eight plus hours a week, year round. Their hard work has paid off and we couldn’t be prouder of them.”
To learn more about the Midwest Royals and their upcoming events follow their page on Facebook. To enroll an athlete visit the Royal’s website online at https://midwestroyals.weebly.com.