Cats Cheerleaders Preparing For Upcoming NW Georgia Season

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - by Don Foley
Georgia Northwestern freshman student-athlete Mina Winters (LaFayette) works alongside some of her Cats cheer teammates as they work in a breakout session during a summer practice
Georgia Northwestern freshman student-athlete Mina Winters (LaFayette) works alongside some of her Cats cheer teammates as they work in a breakout session during a summer practice
- photo by Don Foley

 As the end of summer approaches and students enter the new school year, the student-athletes and staff of the Bobcats cheer program are already hard at work preparing for their inaugural season. The group has been busy during the summer months creating a competitive program that will begin a new Georgia Northwestern tradition.

Led by Georgia Northwestern Head Cats Cheer Coach Karen Stoker, the Bobcats Cheer program consists of 16 recruited cheerleaders from high schools across the Tennessee Valley.

The members of the pilot season line-up for Cats Cheer are Rachelle Blansit (Dade County HS), Marlena Brock (Rome HS), Tara Clark (LaFayette HS), Larissa Douthit (LaFayette HS), Makayla Derryberry (Ridgeland HS), Amber Edwards (LaFayette HS), Destiney Ervin (Ridgeland HS), Desirea Famber (Dalton HS), Jessica McMahan (LaFayette HS), Destiny Runyan (Coosa HS), Nicolesha Russell (Ider HS), Alex Smith (Ridgeland HS), Maggie Tharp (Dade County HS), Rhys Turner (LaFayette HS), Paige Vaughn (North Sand Mountain HS), and Mina Winters (LaFayette HS). In addition, also taking part is dual-enrolled (LaFayette HS) student-athlete Amber Edwards who will serve as “Shredder” the Mascot for the first season.

The Bobcat Cheer roster includes student-athletes from Rome, Ga., to Ider, Ala., and everywhere else in between. “Bringing the individual experience and talent developed at their respective high schools, these student-athletes have come together this summer to take their talents to the collegiate level,” said Stoker. “We are blessed to have students of this caliber.”

During the first season, the team will be joining the Bobcats Men's and Women's NJCAA Basketball teams and cheering during their contests at pre-determined games in the region. The athletes are also preparing for a competitive run beginning in the 2014 season.

The plans are for the team to be competing within the National Cheerleading Association, a national organization that is comprised of college competition cheer programs from around the country. “It’s the measuring stick that college cheer programs use each year,” said Stoker. “We plan on taking on the challenge and doing quite well. We will do our part.”

The Cats Cheer program is also reaching out to the community this year. The team will host the First Annual Cats Cheer Extravaganza on Sept. 23 as an opportunity for younger cheerleaders to be exposed to competition cheer before they reach the middle or high school levels. The event will include school and recreation cheerleaders from around the area. “The squads will be able to compete and/or showcase their programs for the cheer community across the valley,” said Stoker.

Georgia Northwestern freshman student-athlete Desirea Famber (Dalton) takes part in summer drills at a Cats cheer workout. The inaugural intercollegiate cheer squad will make their first public appearance Sept. 23 at the First Annual Cats Cheer Extravaganza at Saddle Ridge Middle School.
Georgia Northwestern freshman student-athlete Desirea Famber (Dalton) takes part in summer drills at a Cats cheer workout. The inaugural intercollegiate cheer squad will make their first public appearance Sept. 23 at the First Annual Cats Cheer Extravaganza at Saddle Ridge Middle School.
- Photo2 by Don Foley

Dan Bailey Still Plodding Along After All These Years

Dan Bailey has been retired from the Tennessee American Water Company for more than 10 years now, so he doesn’t get in a hurry to do anything. He jokes about how slow he runs these days, but he felt better when reminded that if it wasn't for people like him, there would be no overall winners in local races. The 71-year-old Bailey is originally from Ohio where he ... (click for more)

Lookout Rowing Earns Club National Medals

It was a good weekend on the water for Lookout Rowing Club as five boats competed at the Club Nationals Regatta in Oak Ridge, with four in the finals and two earning silver medals. Men’s Lt Weight Double : A pair of local high school coaches - David Hall (Chattanooga Junior Rowing) and Anders Swanson (GPS) - combined talents and rowed to a silver medal ... (click for more)

DA Looking Into Issue Of County Commission Candidate's Campaign Sending Filled-Out Requests For Absentee Ballot To Elderly Voters

The District Attorney's Office has been provided with documents that a County Commission candidate's campaign sent filled-out requests for absentee ballots to elderly voters. Kerry Steelman, election administrator, said there have been four instances in which such requests came from the Elect John Brooks campaign. He said state law says in Section 2-6-202:  (3) A person ... (click for more)

Graham Says County School-City Lawsuit Settlement "Stinks," But County Commission Approves It

The County Commission on Wednesday approved a settlement of a lawsuit brought by the Hamilton County Schools against the city of Chattanooga, though several commissioners said they were not happy with the deal and Commissioner Joe Graham said it "stinks." Commissioner Graham was the lone no vote. He was joined by Commissioner Tim Boyd in a failed effort to defer it a week. ... (click for more)

Pickle Ball? - And Response

Collegedale has done some wonderful things for its residents.  The Greenway is a perfect example of money well spent on helping to give her residents the opportunity to improve their lives, at least from a health standpoint. Having taught at Wolftever Creek for a decade plus, I was fortunate to have opportunity to take my classes on walks from time to time.  It provided ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Say It Ain't So, Larry Joe!

Larry Joe Wheelon, the tainted horse trainer who was charged with 18 counts of aggravated animal cruelty when his barn was raided in April of 2013 and some animals were sored so badly that they could barely walk, finally went to a court hearing in Blount County on Wednesday and his steps toward Judge Tammy Harrington’s bench were decidedly heavy. My goodness, yours would have been ... (click for more)