Nine new Dalton State Cheerleaders joined with those already on the squad as Coaches Robyn Newell and Austin Culp congratulated them for being part of the new athletic program.
With a nod to past Dalton Junior College teams, Newell said, “cheerleading is not what it was in the 70s.” In addition to the traditional “spirit” squad that will continue to be a strong presence on campus and in the community, 20 athletes will compete on the “competition” cheer unit. Of the 20 competition squad cheerleaders, Newell said only 16 are allowed to be on the floor at one time.
All of the 2013-14 cheerleaders signed so far were present for the event. “I would like to thank you for being open minded enough to embrace an idea,” said Newell. “The competitive cheer program has no tradition here.”
The newest to sign are all high school seniors. They are Karina Sandoval, Southeast Whitfield High, daughter of Evelia and Ismael Sandoval; Alexandria Martin, Coahulla Creek High, daughter of Jessica and Jason Patterson; Macy Burnette, Armuchee High, daughter of Misti Mobbs and Shan Burnette; Ansley Garland, Calhoun High, daughter of Sylvia and Adam Ashley; Aaron Thomas, Southeast Whitfield High, son of April and Randy Callaway; Ashley Lovain, daughter of Jaime Smith and Joe Lovain; Katelyn Locke, Northwest Whitfield High, daughter of Chesa Dyer and Dean Locke; Maci Price, Chattooga High, daughter of Debra Adams; and Jordan Collins, North Murray High School, son of Robin and Ed Cuthbert.
Newell stressed the community support that has been given to athletics. Cheer uniforms are provided at no cost to the athletes. “That is not usually the case,” she noted.
“We will always work around academic schedules,” Newell said. “But all obligations to athletics are to be taken seriously.”
Cheer squad members will participate in the Color Run 5k race on June 8 in Chattanooga.
Cheerleaders will also be participating in a mandatory cheer camp at the University of Alabama July 18 through 22.
The recruitment process continues. There are currently 24 on the squad. The number should grow to 40 members who will compete in the rigorous competition cheer events and/or as support for other Roadrunner athletics teams.