The Franklin-Simpson Wildcats' Cheer Team held tryouts and selected a team for the upcoming 2019 season.
Before the selection, Jessi Eaton, who is beginning her third year as head coach, selected her new assistant coach Atalie Jones.
"Atalie and I cheered and danced together. We have known each other since we were kids and we graduated together in 2010," Eaton said. "It was an easy choice for her to join our team and when I asked her, she answered quicker than I thought she would."
Jones has participated in gymnastics for 13 years, since she was 3 years old. She also danced for five years and grew up in the community. She is a graduate of Western Kentucky University and teaching second grade in the Simpson County School System.
"Whenever Jessi asked me to be an assistant coach for this team and help with extra support, the decision was an easy one and instantaneous," Jones said. "This community has given me so much and so I wanted to take this opportunity to give back to the girls. I want to be someone they can trust, someone they can lean on and someone they can trust. I cheered, my sister cheered and we're carrying on the tradition."
Tryouts for this year's team were held back in April. Replacing the six seniors from last year's team was tough to do but Eaton really likes the girls who make up this year's team.
"This was our best year of tryouts ever," Eaton said. "Heading into it, I was going to only take 12 girls but as each day of tryouts went on, these girls started out pretty good and the next day, they weren't bad at all and so we ended up selecting 18 girls to this year's team. I think that comes from the middle school and they are doing such a good job of setting them up to cheer on the varsity level. "
Eaton wanted to start practice in middle of May but they are having optional practices and have learned football cheers as well as a few stunts. They will be attending three camps this summer. They will have a UCA Camp at Franklin-Simpson, and a skills and choreography camp at Bowling Green High School in July.
"I like this team because they are willing to learn," Eaton said. "These are optional practices and all of the girls, except for two who are playing softball, are here and everyone is communicating together on how to make ourselves better and I am pleased with what I've seen so far."
The goal for this year's team will be the same as l=it is every season. They want to qualify for state cheer competition as well as UCA Nationals at Disney in Orlando.
"We know it is going to be expensive and it is going to take a lot to fundraise to be able to do that again," Eaton said. "We got a taste of it last season and especially with the talent we have. We have a lot of girls that cam tumble and we have a really good shot at it so we're going to try out best. We have plans of doing some major fundraising so we have a lot of work ahead of us."
The 2019-20 Wildcats' Cheer Team consists of: Gracie McMillin, Sierra Mosely, Abbi Jones,TeAnna Prince, Carra Chaney,Cheyenne Vance, Kayleigh Hinton, Trinitee Key, Megan Shrum, Lyric Blair, Jaden Culverhouse, MaKaylie Gammon, Lexie Groves, Sydney Nickolson, Josie Snyder, Haley Racine, Kira Coleman and Rachel Spears.