By Heather Mullinix
The Cumberland County High School cheer squad is going to nationals, if they can raise the funds for the trip to Orlando, FL, in February. The squad got a boost in December from the Cumberland County Board of Education when it directed school system administrators to provide $3,000 to assist in the cost of the trip.
Walt Hitch, a parent of a member of the squad and representing the cheer boosters, told the board, “This did not happen overnight. It began last spring with the decision to have a competitive cheer squad. They practiced through the summer and fall in preparation for the competitions.”
The team took first place at the TTU Cheer Classic, third at the Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletic Association competition in Murfreesboro and first in game day and small varsity co-ed at the Smoky Mountain Classic. That earned them an invitation to the National High School Cheerleading Championship, set Feb. 8-9 at Walt Disney World in Orlando. The competition is televised on ESPN.
“We realize this is an excellent opportunity for these student athletes to represent CCHS, Crossville and Cumberland County,” Hitch said. “It’s great to have a Cumberland County school represented in a national competition such as this.”
He said it had been 20 years since a Cumberland County cheer team had earned such an opportunity.
But the opportunity comes with a price tag. There are 23 members of the CCHS cheer squad, along with travel, lodging and registration costs for the competition. Hitch said it had been estimated the team needed about $18,000 for the trip.
“The team has already raised, in anticipation of this, about a third of the cost. They’ve done that work themselves,” Hitch said.
The boosters are seeking support from corporate sponsorships, private donations and assistance from local governments.
Board members recalled the school system providing assistance to school teams competition on a national level in the past. In fact, policy 2.9001 allows the board to provide up to half the cost of the trip, to a maximum of $3,000.
The policy only allows for funding of school-sponsored activities to assist students in competing in national sponsored competitions. Receipts or invoices are required and the request must be recommended by the director of schools.
Sandy Brewer, 3rd District representative, said, “Since we have that policy in place, I’d like to ask the director to find the maximum donation to CCHS. There are 20-something children and they’ve worked very hard to get to where they are.”
The motion was unanimously approved.
Richard Janeway, 2nd District representative, asked the director start planning to budget for such funding in coming years.
“We need a line in there in anticipation of more of that coming up,” he said.
Those who would like to make a donation or be a sponsor for the CCHS cheerleaders to attend the nationals may contact Melissa Kerley at 484-6253.
In other business, the board approved overnight or out-of-state field trip requests.
The CCHS Class of 2015 was granted approval for a senior class trip to Washington, D.C. April 6-10, 2015. The trip falls within the scheduled spring break. It would include bus transportation to and from D.C. And all sightseeing destinations, a course leader, night chaperones at the destination hotel, all meals and admission fees, emergency support, and accident/health insurance. Students would be able to make regular monthly payments to cover total cost of the trip. A full refund will be available in the event of cancellation.
Other trips approved were:
•CCHS Lady Jet Basketball Team trip to Lawrenceburg, TN, Dec. 20-21 to compete in the Lawrence County Classic tournament.
•CCHS marching band trip to Pigeon Forge Jan. 10-11 to Wilderness of the Smokies.
•CCHS wrestling team trips to William Blount High School Jan. 3-4, state duals tournament in Williamson County Jan. 31-Feb. 1 and state individual tournament in Williamson County Feb. 13-15.
•Martin Elementary Beta Club to attend the Tennessee Junior Beta Convention March 3-4 in Nashville.
•Stone Memorial High School track and field team trip to Lake Fort Oglethorpe High School in Georgia March 21 for the LFO Track and Field Invitational.