By Tamas Mondovics
With four for four, this year the Johnson County High School cheerleading program and its talented squad have every reason to be in great spirit and high hopes less than two weeks from its upcoming tryouts.
The event scheduled for the week of April 8-12 will be coupled with a stunt clinic planned for Monday and Tuesday.
On Wednesday, April 10, the event organizers will enjoy the assistance of cheerleaders from Milligan College and King who are looking forward to working with the girls teaching cheers, chants, and dances.
The week will wrap it on Thursday with practice and stunt evaluations leading up to Friday for each girl to be judged by college cheerleaders.
“For the past four years, we have placed cheerleaders at colleges with scholarships,” Casey Sutherland JCHS science teacher and cheer coach proudly said.
The list of talent that made it to the next level included Breana Blair in 2016, who had signed with Tusculum University, followed next by Cora Hayworth in 2017, who went to Averett.
Caleigh Blair is now also making her name known at Tusculum, setting the example for Sydney Osborne, who has already secured a spot on the King College’s squad.
“We have not had Sydney’s signing yet, but she is scheduled to enjoy the spotlight to sign on April 10, 2019,” Sutherland said.
“Breana really started it all, but now, I almost assume my girls will want to cheer at college,” she said.
Each year the girls that try to plan it around their busy freshmen schedules and then are faced with the challenging decision to give it a try or focus on academics only. But Sutherland explained that either way they go, the team helps them build what is needed for scholarships both academically and athletically.
“We have rigorous grade requirements and check our girls progress frequently,” she said. “We make sure they have what they need, whether it is tutoring, homework time, a study buddy, or just an encouragement to remind them that they can do it.
To make sure each member of the squad are well rounded with good attitudes, character, a team spirit, intelligence, and confidence is a must and a top priority for program coaches.
Of course, cheerleading, especially in the competitive arena, is a great option, for males.
Sutherland emphasized that the boys usually have more scholarship potential than females due to the demand for male cheerleaders.
“We as coaches have no so say in who makes the team, except to decide the number of cheerleaders we want on the team.”
Sutherland concluded her obvious passion for the sport as well as love and care for each member on her the team as she emphasized that to bring light to the “hard work and dedication that these ladies have had as well as the inspiration they have been for up, and coming girls, are much deserved.”