By KEITH RYAN CARTWRIGHT
Rutherford County Schools
Winners of The Masters don green jackets.
Inductees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame are fitted with gold jackets.
Wearing their coveted white championship jackets, cheerleading teams from Blackman and Siegel high schools along with Rockvale Middle School and two teams from Stewarts Creek High School recently filled the entire Board Room at the Rutherford County Schools’ Central Office.
Team members and coaches representing all five teams were recognized at a June meeting of the Rutherford County School Board.
“I’m really very thankful tonight that you let us come out here and celebrate what was most definitely the most difficult year ever in sports and school and everything,” said Courtney Gregory, who has been the head cheerleading coach at Blackman for the past 18 years.
Blackman won the varsity football cheerleading title in the small coed division.
It was Blackman’s eighth national championship.
“Whether you believe cheerleading is a sport of not, it is an athletic activity, and this is a huge testament to the quality of kids and athletes we have in this county.”
Gregory said she is proud of all the cheer teams from throughout Rutherford County.
Siegel won the small varsity non-tumble division title, while Rockvale won the junior non-tumbling title. The junior varsity coed and medium varsity coed teams from Stewarts Creek also won national titles.
For Siegel, it was their first time competing in the small varsity division and their first national title in school history.
“(We were) very blessed to have a season,” said Siegel head coach Jessica Foxx, because of the pandemic and given the issues and challenges faced by other athletic teams and clubs.
Speaking of challenges, Rockvale Middle competed against high school teams in a combined junior varsity and middle school division.
Head coach Rachel Butner said Rockvale’s national title was “nothing less than a miracle.”
Equally impressive is the fact Stewarts Creek captured not one, but two national titles in the same year.
“To be the best in the nation is always something to be celebrated,” said Madison Kelly, an assistant coach at Stewarts Creek, “but, in a year like this one, where there were so many unknowns and obstacles to overcome to get here, to be the best in the nation is truly an amazing feat.”
Kelly concluded by saying, “We’re so proud that five of the best teams in the nation come from Rutherford County.”