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Former cheerleaders reunite for display area dedication

As Russellville Cheer Coach Stephanie Mayfield walked around the top floor of the Golden Tiger Field House this past year, surveying the awards and memorabilia from throughout the years, she said she was surprised to notice a lack of female representation – particularly cheerleaders.

A year later, that is changing, as Russellville City Schools has dedicated a portion of the display area to Golden Tiger cheerleaders who have gone on to cheer in higher education.

“It wasn’t anyone’s fault that there wasn’t an area for cheer because we had never thought about it, but it was something I knew we had to add,” Mayfield said. “We wanted to recognize these girls and their hard work.”

Fifteen former and current RHS cheerleaders who cheered collegiately were recognized Sunday as the display case was dedicated.

“Our goal today is to celebrate you and your accomplishments,” Mayfield said to those in attendance.

Mayfield said all former RHS cheerleaders who cheered collegiately are encouraged to bring some form of memorabilia for the display case.

Cheer memorabilia will be kept in the corner cabinet of the display case. Mayfield said she hopes cheer will one day outgrow the space with all of the cheerleaders’ accomplishments.

“We are so thankful for our administration at RHS for being so supportive of girls’ athletics because that is huge for our athletes,” Mayfield said.

RCS Superintendent Heath Grimes said he is thankful for Mayfield and the work she has done to ensure cheerleaders receive the recognition they deserve.

“We think it is very important to recognize all of our athletes,” Grimes said. “To recognize that this is something that has not been recognized and to be brought together is something we appreciate.”

All of the cheerleaders in attendance had their biography read so they could be recognized. They included current university cheerleaders as well as former cheerleaders who have gone on to coach cheer squads of their own.

“We love getting to see what all everyone has accomplished and getting a chance to catch back up with everybody,” Mayfield said. “It is so great to see so many familiar faces back together again.”

Cheerleaders recognized included Carrie Hester Dover, Julie Epperson Hamm, Danyelle Hillman, April Pickett Manlay, Joy Stanley Bratton, Amy James Scott, Neco Hamilton, Julie King Hulsey, Shequetta Hillman Adkins, Michaela Cox Marquis, Devin Jones, Kaydee Don Holland, Ashlyn DeArman, Destiny Hatton and Kelli Badgett.