Sammi Jo first began cheering and dancing at the age of four. She spent many hours of her childhood in dance studios, at cheer practice and cheering on her local sports teams. After serving as varsity cheerleading captain, she spent 4 years on Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Drill team (with another sideline prep coach and one of her best friends, Barbra). After college, she went on to coach varsity cheerleading at her alma mater high school. She has also competed in the Miss Pennsylvania Pageant.
Sammi Jo’s professional cheerleading career started 3 years after she finished her Bachelor of Education Degree and Master’s Degrees in college. She always thought it would be amazing to cheer at the professional level, so she tried out for the Baltimore Ravens not thinking that she would actually make the team. She thought it would be an awesome story to share with her varsity cheerleading team and it WAS an awesome story to share, especially since she made the team. She traveled 218 miles (one way)… 436 miles round trip for an entire season before moving to Baltimore for her 2nd season. Sammi Jo went on to cheer for the Baltimore Ravens for 5 seasons, held the distinguished title as co-captain for one of her seasons and was featured as her own month in 4 Ravens swimsuit calendars. She also spent many hours volunteering at Ronald McDonald House and charity events around the DMV. She was awarded the “Unsung Hero” Award during her tenure with the Ravens. Sammi Jo ended her professional cheerleading career by cheering the Ravens to a Super Bowl 47 victory in New Orleans!
She still gets chills every time she thinks of the confetti pouring down in the Mercedes Bens Superdome!
Outside of professional cheerleading, Sammi Jo is an 8th grade science teacher and poms coach who loves working with children of all ages. Over the years, she has been active in an organization called “Science Cheerleader” where she has traveled to many schools around the country to encourage young women to stomp out stereotypes and pursue careers in science and mathematics. Sammi Jo, along with 2 other science cheerleaders are in the Guinness Book of World Records for leading the largest organized cheer at a single venue (1,278 cheerleaders!). She has also started a Sideline Prep Jr. division with GeNienne to help inspire a whole new generation of lil’ lovelies. Sammi Jo loves to spend her free time with the 3 loves of her life, her husband Derek and two toddlers, Houston and Vivian.
Sammi Jo’s Pro Tip
Professional Cheerleading is an experience that will fulfill your mind, body and soul. Stay humble and live for every moment. If you make a team you must remember that there are a million other girls out there that would love to be in your shoes. Do your best to take in and appreciate every opportunity it offers, be grateful. Be prepared to manage you career, school work, family, sleep schedule and social life with practices, workouts, appearances and game day! Be prepared to smile your way through all of it, even on a tough day! And most importantly, do not forget to take care of your body (eat healthy, ice/heat, get massages), so that it can take care of you!