University of Mobile competitive cheerleaders. Photos courtesy UM.

The University of Mobile has one of the most acclaimed athletic departments in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). The Rams compete in 21 sports, with their teams often ranked amongst the best in the U.S.

Among those recently being honored is the competitive cheer squad. On Feb. 11, the team defeated six other competitors to capture the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) championship.


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Sports Writer

J. Mark Bryant got his start writing about sports in junior high while covering summer league baseball games at $2.50 a pop for the local newspaper in Pascagoula. After starting college as a pre-med major (Who knew they would schedule labs during happy hour?), he changed over to journalism. With his bachelor’s degree in hand, Bryant returned home to work at The Mississippi Press for 19 years. He managed to cover a little bit of everything in that stretch, including a Super Bowl in New Orleans on a Sunday and junior high girls’ basketball that Monday. Also during that time, he took a young fresh-faced reporter named Robbie Holbert under his tutelage. Even with that burden, Holbert turned out all right. Bryant continued his journalism career as an editor and page designer with the Newhouse newspaper syndicate, first at the Birmingham News and finally the Press-Register. Once the Mobile newspaper eliminated his department, Holbert reappeared with an offer to get the old band back together. Bryant then began composing his sports column — Upon Further Review — in Lagniappe. The goal is to find the unusual story that may have been skipped over by other media. Everyone writes about football and basketball, but sailing, biking and non-traditional games also need some love. So let’s keep Mobile — and its sports coverage — funky.

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