A life of cheer
UTSA's head cheerleader has been raising spirits since kindergarten
Jamille Henderson gets an
almost dreamy look when
she describes running out
on the field to cheer at an
“That feeling is unlike any other
feeling, I believe,” said Henderson,
a junior and captain of the cheerleading
team. “It’s just amazing.”
And, with football, it’s going to
get better and better, she said.
Henderson, a Houston native
and graduate of Kingwood
High School, has been on the
cheerleading team since her
freshman year. In fact, the team
is why she’s here.
“I came to UTSA, honestly,
because of the cheer program,”
she said. “I had already made
the team, and I had been
accepted by the school. I made
friends on the team. I loved the
program, I loved the campus. I
just loved everything about it.
“And the scholarships,” she
added, laughing. “They offered me the
Henderson, a business management
major, has been cheerleading since she
was 5 years old.
“I started cheering for my older brother’s
football team, and then I started doing
competitive cheerleading and gymnastics,”
she said. “And later I quit gymnastics
and just did cheerleading.”
When she enrolled at Kingwood High,
cheerleading was a natural fit.
“Living in Texas, football is a big deal,”
she said. “Cheering for a high school team
is nothing like cheering for a collegiate
team, a Division I team.”
Henderson said cheering at UTSA’s
spring game in the Alamodome gave her
a taste of what Sept. 3 will be like when
the Roadrunners take the field against
Northeastern (Okla.) State.
“The Alamodome is massive,” she
said. “And the fact that it’s going to be so
loud. We’ll be cheering in front of thousands
of people; we’ve never cheered in
front of thousands of people. It’s going to
be big; it’s going to be amazing to see the
She recalled going to an LSU football
game in Baton Rouge when she was a
high school student.
“I’m just sitting up there in the stands
and I look at these cheerleaders,” she
said, again with that dreamy look in her
eyes. “You just want to be down there.
And there are so many people. I can’t
even explain that feeling. It’s going to be
crazy [in the Alamodome].”
—Joe Michael Feist