Penn State Love Stories: A Love Worth Cheering For

Most students spend Saturdays at Beaver Stadium hanging with friends, eating a chicken basket, and cheering on the Nittany Lions.

For Penn State senior Derien Yeager and his fiancĂ© Mackenzie Wright, one seemingly normal football game turned into a day they’ll never forget thanks to a surprise marriage proposal on the field.

Yeager has been a Penn State cheerleader for three years, and he knew he wanted to make his proposal to Wright as memorable as possible. So, with a bit of help from the Penn State cheerleading team, Yeager pulled off the Penn State proposal of his dreams.

Courtesy of Derien Yeager

Yeager and Wright first met as sophomores in high school in their hometown of Danville, Pennsylvania. The couple quickly hit it off at track practice and began dating just three months after meeting.

Flash forward to their senior year of high school, and the pair decided to part ways for college. Yeager went off to Happy Valley, and Wright to Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Despite the uncertainty of a long-distance relationship, they remained together and very much in love through it all.

Long distance in college was no match for the happy couple, and Yeager knew that come senior year he wanted to make Wright his fiancé.

As Yeager began to think about proposing, he wanted to make the day as special as Wright is to him. Combining his love for Wright and his passion for cheerleading, there was only one option for a proposal: on the field at Beaver Stadium after a Penn State football win.

“I thought it would be a good idea to do something big for her because she deserves it, so what better way than to make it very public and in the middle of Beaver Stadium?” Yeager said.

He planned out the proposal weeks in advance, organizing the big day with Wright’s family and getting his cheer coach and teammates in on the plan. Of course, everyone was more than willing to make it a spectacle. The team planned cheer stunts, a “Marry Me?” sign, and had the Nittany Lion in on the action.

“The team really came up with the nitty-gritty stuff like the signs we used and how we would set it up,” he added. “It meant everything to me that she had the best time.”

Luckily, Penn State clinched a win over Central Michigan the weekend Yeager proposed. The Nittany Lions won, he popped the question, and the rest is history.

Courtesy of Derien Yeager

“I wasn’t nervous for her to say yes since we’ve been together for so long, and we’ve talked about getting married. I just wanted her to have the best experience I could’ve given her. I was mostly excited for her throughout the entire process,” Yeager said.

After the engagement, Yeager and Wright celebrated with friends and family on the field. Despite making their love official, the newly-engaged couple has no plans to rush into a wedding anytime soon. After graduation, Yeager is off to graduate school, and Wright plans on becoming an elementary teacher.

“We were thinking of tying the knot somewhere around 2024, but it’s still up in the air,” Yeager said. “Of course, my cheer family will be there.”

Who knows — maybe we’ll see a stunt or two on the wedding day?

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About the Author

Ava Brendgord

Ava is a senior from Houston, TX majoring in broadcast journalism. She loves coffee and bagels, traveling, and keeping a healthy balance between watching the news and reality television. Follow her at @avabrendgord on Instagram or email her at [email protected].

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