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

Both Dalton State Golf Teams Are In The Top 10 In The NAIA

Both Dalton State golf teams are now in the Golfstats National NAIA Top-10 Ranking released Thursday morning.   The Lady Roadrunners remained at number eight this week with two players in the top-50. Erika Wardzinski, Southern States Athletic Conference Player of the Week, is ranked 16 th in the nation and 1 st among SSAC players. Caroline Griffin is ranked 47 th . ... (click for more)

McCallie Opens Lacrosse Season Saturday

The McCallie lacrosse team enters the 2015 season with high expectations. Especially after Lacrosse Magazine recently listed the Blue Tornado as one of the top 10 teams in the South. McCallie is listed No. 4 on the magazine’s ranking of southern prep teams and has this to say about this year’s squad: “The Blue Tornado (18-5) are loaded this season and expect to make a ... (click for more)

County School Bus Driver Alexander Rodriquez Charged With Raping 15-Year-Old Student

A county school bus driver has been charged with raping a 15-year-old student.   Alexander Rodriguez, 34, of Dusty Trail, Ooltewah, was being held on $350,000 bond.   The sheriff's office said it got a report at 9:30 p.m. of a missing juvenile, who was last seen boarding a school bus at Sale Creek High School that afternoon.    ... (click for more)

Snow In Today's Forecast After Balmy Wednesday; Hamilton County Schools, CCS, State Offices Closed Thursday

Temperatures were mild on Wednesday, reaching 74 degrees, but they began dropping as the day went on - leading to a winter weather advisory. The advisory went into effect at 4 a.m. on Thursday and is to continue until 4 p.m. The forecast is for freezing rain,sleet and snow. Hamilton County Schools will be closed Thursday . Officials said, "Due to the continued drop in temperatures ... (click for more)

Women Don't Ask For Rape, They Ask For Justice

The stereotypical irrationality that women typically lie about rape has brought an enormous amount of social stigma to this population. Many like to think that rape is not a huge issue in the United States, and that the media blows it out of proportion. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported that approximately 17.7 million females in America have been raped, with 108,612 ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Father Kelly’s ‘Hallelujah’

Last April, in the special way that only some older men are lucky enough to possess, the childish imp came out in Father Ray Kelly. A parish priest in Oldcastle, Ireland, he was conducting wedding vows for a handsome couple when the 62-year-old decided to surprise them with a totally-unscripted rendition of Leonard Cohen’s beautiful song, “Hallelujah.” When he did, there soon ... (click for more)