EDITOR’S NOTE: The COVID-19 pandemic closed local schools before they could hold their banquets honoring winter sports student-athletes, so coaches have agreed to announce postseason team award recipients here in the newspaper. We’re kicking off our coverage this weekend with Baldwin High School boys basketball, girls basketball, wrestling and basketball cheerleading.
The Baldwin High School basketball cheerleading squad had some new leadership in place for the 2019-20 season.
BHS alumnae Carla Ingram (Class of ’15) and Tia Trawick (Class of ’14) helmed the team for the first time. Ingram is not only a Baldwin High alum, but also cheered while at her alma mater. She and Trawick were looking to bring some new elements to the program — more jumps, new cheers and more halftime performances for the Braves/Bravettes faithful to enjoy. The squad’s motto for Ingram’s inaugural season at the helm was “Let’s get it,” as she wanted to encourage her cheerleaders to try these new things in an effort to grow.
“We wanted to focus on being different, getting down to work and making sure we cheer our teams on,” Ingram said. “Me being younger, I think I was able to bring in some newer aspects that the girls were kind of looking for.”
All of Baldwin basketball cheerleading’s 23 members will receive awards for sticking it out the entire year, but coaches Ingram and Trawick had a few other honors to bestow to those whose commitment really stood out.
Leadership Awards: Kennedy Morgan, Bre’Asjah Nelson and Kemora Rogers
Success in cheerleading is no different than any other athletic team. It starts at the top with the squad’s leadership, and those roles at the varsity level went to head captain Kennedy Morgan and co-captain Bre’Asjah Nelson while Kemora Rogers was the team leader for the JV squad. Each will be given leadership awards for their contributions to the squad this past season.
“They were really awesome,” Ingram said of her captains. “I expected these girls to give everything their best and to be leaders and set the example. They definitely raised the bar and contributed a lot of positive ideas and kept me on my toes. These girls made it a very smooth process and it was an honor to have them my first year.”
Most Spirited: Marvicia Smith
“She always comes in with energy and is excited to cheer on the team,” Ingram said of the senior.
Best Jumps: Lymesha Henry
Henry has a total of four cheerleading seasons under her belt as a member of Baldwin’s football and basketball squads and impressed her first-year coaches.
“Her jumps were always awesome and her tumbling is great,” said Ingram.
Most Jumps/Most Improved: Jacorrie Davis
These awards went to Ingram’s first male cheerleader she’s ever coached. Davis was chosen for his knack for doing before he was ever told.
“He would beat us down to the floor to do jumps,” the head coach said. “We wouldn’t even have to say it.”
JV Most Improved/Most Dependable: Chelsea King
“Chelsea has really worked hard this year. Whenever some of the JV cheerleaders had to cheer for varsity, she would do a very good job of holding it down with the JV squad. We were very happy that she took that leadership role. We’re looking for good things from her again next year.”
Rookie/Newcomer Award: Joy Wells
“She always came in eager and excited to learn,” Ingram said of the junior. “She picked up on things quickly and came to every game and gave it her all.”
Most Valuable Cheerleader: Chanel Collier
The team’s most valuable award goes to a junior in Collier who stood out in every facet of the sport. She was a reluctant flyer, but trusted her head coach and performed even when obstacles presented themselves. Collier will be back with the team next season and may have one of those coveted leadership roles waiting on her.
“We’re looking for great things from her possibly being in leadership next year,” said Ingram. “She’s always on top of her game and is always on time. She never missed a game.”
The squad’s big numbers and success in its first year under new leadership has the head coach looking forward to a second season in the basketball bleachers.
“The crowd has a lot of expectations from us now,” said Ingram. “We did a halftime performance at every home game. We had specific cheers for specific players. I think the fans have a new respect for basketball cheerleading. I’m just excited to see what next year brings. We’ll continue to improve and just be an awesome squad.”