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

John Shearer: Several Locals Took Part In Saturday’s Tennessee-Georgia Swim Meet

With two of the top swimming and diving programs in the Southeastern Conference, Georgia and Tennessee are intense rivals in the water.   But for a small number of former Chattanooga-area competitors in the two teams’ meet on the UT campus on Saturday, it was also a friendly homecoming.   Standout UT swimmer Sam McHugh went to Baylor School, as did Vol diver Emily ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: Central Boys Win Over Hixson

Partnership With Volkswagen To Establish $1 Million Science Lab Program

Volkswagen Chattanooga officials announced on Tuesday the establishment of a $1 million program that will allow all Hamilton County middle and high schools to apply for funds to create a science lab in their school. Named the Volkswagen eLabs, the program will allow students to gain access to emergent technologies, including automated manufacturing equipment, 3D printers, robotics, ... (click for more)

McReynolds, Brooks Arrested After Police Chase Ends In Crash On Monroe Street; Accord Had Been Stolen From Dealership

Marquis McReynolds, 25, and Jermichael Brooks, 23, were arrested after a police chase on Monday.   A task force including the ATF, FBI, and Chattanooga Police Department officers pursued a stolen vehicle. That pursuit resulted in a traffic crash and the arrest of two convicted felons.   The pursuit began at 5200 Highway 58 just after 7 p.m. after police ... (click for more)

City Officials Should Tour Our Roads - And Response (2)

As we near the election in March, now would be a good time for our city officials who are up for re-election to spend a little time exploring their realm.   I would invite them to take a scenic tour starting at Lake Resort Drive paying attention to the portion of the road which was recently repaired which now appears to be sliding back towards the lake again.  Follow ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Puzzling Women

After Rhonda Thurman left the “Enlightment” meeting of the Hamilton Country School Board Saturday afternoon, she must have been catching up on the news when she posted this message on her Facebook page: “I am really trying to understand. I am a woman and I cannot think of one "RIGHT" I do not have. Can someone enlighten me?” Not one person enlightened Rhonda because nobody could ... (click for more)