Dalton State Athletics Signs First 13 Competitive Cheerleaders
March 5, 2013
The room was packed as family and friends were on hand Friday night for the introduction of Dalton State's first 13 cheerleaders. Coach Robyn Newell explained that the squad's main goal will be to support other athletic teams and to "spread cheer throughout the campus and the community.”
Friday was just the beginning; Coach Newell says to expect more. "We have goals to represent Dalton State as a highly competitive cheerleading squad," she said. "The competitive roster will be set following open tryouts this spring. The Dalton State cheerleading open tryouts will provide an opportunity to fill the 26 spots left on our roster."
Newell said she now looks forward to working in a practice environment with the 13 athletes who signed letters of intent Friday night. "They are devoted, driven, and talented athletes and I can't be more excited to entrust these athletes with the responsibility of representing this institution, building lasting traditions, and being the first to build a foundation for a Dalton State cheerleading program," she said.
The group was greeted by Dalton State President Dr. John O. Schwenn who recognized that competitive athletics, "gives us the opportunity to have students that otherwise we may not have."
Dr. Schwenn and Athletic Director Derek Waugh said it is important to recruit locally and that it is good to see the involvement of students who are already on campus. Eleven of the 13 signees are current Dalton State students.
Waugh said competitive cheerleading was not on the original roll-out plan for intercollegiate athletics.. "The vibrancy I saw from it, the enthusiasm in the area, and all the different things a cheer program is going to directly bring to the school and the athletic department is what swayed me to make sure that competitive cheer was going to be one of our very first sports,” he said. “Coach Newell and Coach (Austin) Culp have done a fantastic job.”
The cheerleaders will perform at basketball games and in other areas of campus life as well as compete competitively in regional and national meets. "Look at this group right here," Waugh said. "That is a group that you want out representing this institution as we grow. They are going to be well used and I love the competitive, athletic part of it."
"In college athletics, you get very few opportunities to be the first to do something," he said. "These young men and women get the chance to be trailblazers and they should be proud of themselves for being part of what we want to be a transformative athletic program."
Among the first cheerleading recruits are Kandi Adams, Kellie Brock, Arika Culp, Andrew Dale, Madison Ellis, Tessa Lawson, Manuel Montelongo, Emily Payne, Jasmine Richardson, Kristan Skiffen, Kandace Voyles, Marci Weeks, and an unnamed student who serves as Rage, the Roadrunner.