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

Larkin Brown Invited To U.S. Rowing Camp

Larkin Brown, a rising sophomore at Girls Preparatory School, has been invited to attend USRowing's Junior National Development Camp for three weeks this summer at Connecticut College. She will join 40 other rowers from across the country in what USRowing describes as a "Rowing Laboratory" where the focus is on “building a multidimensional skill set in a controlled environment.” ... (click for more)

GPS Coach Bartlett To Play On British National Tennis Team

GPS Director of Tennis and Varsity Tennis Coach Sue Bartlett will be representing Great Britain in the ITF Senior World Team Championships in Helsinki, Finland, June 18-26. This is the seventh year since her initial selection in 2009 that she has participated in the Senior World Championships for Great Britain, her native country. She did not play in 2012.  Coach Bartlett, ... (click for more)

1 Person Shot On Wilson Street On Wednesday Night

One person was shot on Wilson Street on Wednesday night. The incident was near Orchard Knob Avenue. A section of Roanoke Street near the shooting scene was blocked off, with multiple police units at the location. (click for more)

Woman Tells Of Having Shots Fired At Her When She Walked Into Disorder At South Germantown Road Apartment Complex

Officer Joel Gunn of the Chattanooga Police Department and a woman who was fired at after she walked into the scene of a shooting testified in court Wednesday concerning the shooting at the Chateau Royale Apartments on South Germantown Road on April 22. Coy Sims, 48, was arrested by Officer Gunn after police were called by residents of the apartment complex. On the night of the ... (click for more)

Thankful For The Vital Role Teachers Played In My Life

Re: Roy Exum: Teachers Day Tomorrow Roy, I am especially appreciative of your poignant column written in tribute to teachers.  It made me tear up, as I have encountered both as a student and a career educator-- teachers like the second-grade teacher who said, "I wish you were my little girl" and teachers like Mrs. Poindexter.   My teachers have played such a vital ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The DA’s Cold-Case Quest

It is clearly a job nobody can do for over an hour or two, but Neal Pinkston, working in hand with precise professionals from the county’s auditing department, is intent on doing the right thing. As I watched a revolving team of four people at a time open and study envelopes of autopsy photographs on Tuesday, the scene would have made a fascinating television documentary. But ... (click for more)