Be of Good Cheer

Posted by Paula Paine on November 4, 2013 in Athletics, "Current Students", "School of Arts and Sciences", "The College", "Your OU" When Bethany C2013_Cheer-Dance_16992_Bethany-Cobbsobbs was eight, she stumbled across a University of Kansas (KU) cheer clinic. It was a turning point. After a little begging, her parents allowed her to enroll in classes, which gave Cobbs a physical outlet for the life quality she already possessed. As an encourager and motivator with a positive outlook on life, Cobbs is a cheerleader both on and off the field. She even chose a career goal that will utilize those traits.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, as they say. Cobbs is the daughter of Thomas and Janis Cobbs, who are encouragers and cheerleaders in their own right as Army chaplains and co-pastors of American Baptist affiliated First Missionary Baptist Church of Leavenworth, Kansas. Cobbs is especially proud of her mother for her persistence and success in traditionally male-dominated roles and has supported her as she rose to the position of Chief of Chaplains at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Leavenworth.

As a junior at Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kansas, Cobbs is on the cheer and dance squads and is a communication major with a minor in public relations. Because of her extensive dance background (she started dancing at age four and competed until she was a sophomore in high school) and her accomplishments in cheer (she began competing at age nine and participated in the United World Games in Italy as a U.S. cheerleader at age 16), Cobbs received a cheer scholarship to Ottawa University, along with an American Baptist scholarship, a sibling scholarship (her brother, T.J., is a freshman on the football team), and an academic scholarship. 2013_16978_Dance

In addition to being part of a very successful cheer and dance team (the team took third at nationals last year), Cobbs is making the most of her college experience by making a difference on campus. She is active in Student Senate, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, PRSSA, and Campus Activities Board. “I’ve made so many friends here and gotten so many opportunities,” said Cobbs. “And I’m getting an individualized education that I wouldn’t have gotten at a bigger school. The president even knows me by name!”

“Bethany is a tremendous young lady with a great attitude and a willingness to serve,” said Head Football Coach Kent Kessinger. “She has volunteered in our office this semester and has helped our staff get a jump on our recruiting. Her attitude is always positive and contagious, and it seems we as a staff are always a little more upbeat after Bethany has been in the office.  She will be a great success as she continues on in her life.”

Cobbs is excited to cheer on her brother during Braves football games and support the team’s efforts as a volunteer in the football office, but her career sights are set a bit higher. Specifically, she wants to be in public relations for an NFL team. “I love football,” she said, “and I still stay in contact with some of the Chiefs cheerleaders who taught me and took our squad to Italy. I would love to promote an NFL team behind the scenes by championing their cause through PR.”

If not the NFL, Cobbs would be just as happy to be in PR for Disney, with which she has had an obsession since childhood. “I would love to be a part of making a memory for a family and work at the ‘happiest place on earth!’” she said.