ETC… for Wednesday, July 28th

Riverdale Academy is recruiting staff members for their yearbook staff.  Anyone in high school is eligible to join the staff.

The Northwestern State University Alumni Association will host an After Hours event at Cane River Brewing on Thursday, Aug. 5.  The gathering will take place from 6-7:30 p.m. for all NSU alumni, supporters and friends.  Those who would like to attend should RSVP to alumni@nsula.edu to ensure an accurate headcount for food.  There is no charge to attend. 

NSU Trivia will begin at 7:30 p.m. following the After Hours event.

The Shreveport office of the National Weather Service noted this week is an anniversary of the Hall Summit tornado of 2013.  It was on July 27th of that year that an EF1 tornado touched down in the parish near Hall Summit and Howard.  The damage path mainly consisted of both hardwood and softwood trees that snapped and were uprooted.  Many residents of that area are still cleaning up from high winds and/or a tornado that ripped through that same area just a few weeks ago.

Here is a tornado the story from May of 2021:

https://redriverparishjournal.com/2021/05/11/the-clean-up/

Here is another story from 2018 of another tornado that went through that same area:

https://redriverparishjournal.com/2018/04/11/tornado-blows-through-friday-night/

After 13 years of service as President & CEO of United Way of Northwest Louisiana, Dr. Bruce Willson Jr., announces his retirement, effective the first quarter of 2022.  Dr. Willson assumed his position as President & CEO in April 2008. With more than a decade of service to Northwest Louisiana, he has assembled a dedicated staff and helped the agency refine its mission and strategy. The net effect of his work has resulted in major outcomes for the agency and the region in the areas of health, education, financial stability, and essential needs. Under his leadership, United Way of Northwest Louisiana opened enrollment for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, introduced the ALICE Report, re-established the 211 health and human service hotline, and opened the Shreveport Financial Empowerment Center in partnership with the City of Shreveport. 


Carolyn Elizabeth Giddings

Carolyn Elizabeth Giddings, known as Libby all her life, went to be with Lord on July 25, 2021..

Born the youngest of four children in 1935, to Vallie and Calvin Griffith, she was doted on by the whole family, especially her big brother John Griffith. She would laugh telling stories about him carting her around in a wheelbarrow, perhaps not realizing he was acting out the latest Bonnie and Clyde escapade.

She grew into a tall, gray-eyed dark haired beauty who caught the eye of Raymond “Bud” Giddings at only 14. He waited for her to grow up and they married in 1952, driving through the parish calling out to their friends to invite them to the wedding the day they tied the knot.

They had many things in common… a love of the “country” where they were both born and raised, fishing and fish fries, long road trips, and time with family. But most of all they shared a love of God and belief in Jesus Christ.

For several decades, they made their home in Shreveport, Louisiana, raising two children to walk in their shared faith. Active members of Lakeshore Baptist, you could find her teaching the girls’ Sunday School class. After deciding that the church needed a library, she got to work. Libby found a room, got books donated, set up the check-out system and organized the creation of the church library. She also served in the Women’s Missionary Union, including a term as President.

Those who knew her know Libby had an artistic soul. But they may not know it all started with a prayer. She prayed and told God she wanted to learn to paint. Libby reached out to someone at PPG where Bud worked and asked if she could have a few colors of the oil paint left over from tinting the decor paint. Instead of just a few, she was gifted one of every color. Yes. God cares about our passions.

Once her children were teens, she found an additional outlet for her passion by working at Artland. It was there that her artistic journey continued with Libby honing her craft, teaching, and selling her realistic landscapes at art fairs all over the South.

Her love of color spilled over into her affinity for gardening. Instead of creating landscapes on canvas Libby crafted stunning flower-scapes in her backyard. She passed on her knowledge of plants diligently to those who cared to learn and daylilies she cultivated bloom across Louisiana and Texas thanks to her generosity.

Libby’s quick wit never dulled, even as she aged, keeping everyone on their toes with her smart, feisty comebacks. Through it all she remained spirited, and yes, a little stubborn, but most of all sweet and loving.

A funeral service celebrating her life will be held at 1:30 PM Wednesday, July 28th at Bethel Baptist Church near Martin, LA. Bro. Wiley Cole will officiate services. Interment will follow in Bethel Baptist Cemetery near the church. The family will receive friends from 12:30 PM until the time of services at the church.

Libby was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, and siblings Hazel and Ralph. Left to cherish her memory are her son, Keith; her daughter, Carol with husband William; her brother John; granddaughter Abby with husband Bryan; two great grandchildren, Jonathan and Hayden; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Honoring Libby as pallbearers will be Bryan Hoeffner, Jonathan Hoeffner, Hayden Hoeffner, Chris Moore, and Eric Griffith, and Jim Witte.


Coushatta Man is Traffic Accident Victim

Saturday morning, just after 8:00 a.m., Troopers assigned to Louisiana State Police Troop G began investigating a two-vehicle fatal crash on LA Highway 1, south of U.S. Highway 84.  The crash claimed the life of 31-year-old Marvin Rogers.

The initial investigation revealed that a 2010 Nissan Altima, driven by Rogers, was traveling southbound on LA Hwy 1.  At the same time, a 2005 GMC Envoy was traveling northbound on La Hwy 1.  For reasons still under investigation, Rogers crossed the centerline and collided head-on with the northbound GMC.

 

Rogers was wearing his seatbelt at the time of the crash but was pronounced dead on scene. The driver of the GMC, who was restrained, was treated for non-life-threatening injuries at a local hospital.

 

Impairment is not suspected to be a factor in this crash; however, routine toxicology samples were taken and submitted for analysis.  The crash remains under investigation.

 

Although the exact cause of the crash remains under investigation, Troopers would like to remind the public that inattentive and distracted driving is dangerous and is a leading cause of crashes in our state. Motorists need to pay attention to what is going on outside of the vehicle they are driving. More information on distracted driving may be found online at nhtsa.gov.

 

In 2021, Troop G Troopers have investigated, 19 fatal crashes, resulting in 20 deaths.


Try Out For Volleyball

Monday and Tuesday will be tryouts for the Lady Bulldog Volleyball Team.  Coach Ellie Drew is calling all potential players.  And she said that players must complete their physical exam prior to trying out.

Tryouts will be in the new gymnasium behind the Junior High building.  That new gym was constructed with volleyball facilities.

See the flyer below.  Email Coach Drew  at edrew@rrbulldogs.com with questions.


Summer Football Camp

By Molly Seales

On July 14-16, about 22 young men from grades 3-11 gathered on the field at Marston Stadium for summer football camp.  Excitement is already in the air for football season as the varsity Rebels are coming off of a state Class 1A runner-up finish and are seeking the championship this year. When I asked Head Coach Jared Smelser about camp, he said, “We started with some basic agility drills and blocking schemes.  Some of the varsity players offered their help, and it has paid off.  They are working hard.”

Last year Riverdale football coaching staff gained a huge asset with the addition of defensive coordinator Jensen Spillum.  Spillum was a standout on his team at Class 5A Wakeland High School in Frisco, TX, and he is currently a college student majoring in secondary education at Northwestern State University.  He is passionate about the game and has brought much positive energy to the program.  When I asked him about the camp he said, “These are great kids who are working hard and love the game and/or have found a love for the game.  Like Coach Jared said, we are going over basics of offense and defense. Our varsity players are amazing role models for these young men and are helping with their technique and skill.”

Many of the youngsters at camp were members of last year’s Class 1A Pee-Wee Swamp Bowl Runner Up team, and they are working extra hard to try to bring the championship trophy to Riverdale for the first time in school history.  The Little Rebels will lose Cannon Breedlove and Preston Eaves as they move up to 7th grade, but they will return all of their other starters. While the younger football players worked hard at camp last week, the varsity Rebels have been conditioning all summer, working out in the newly renovated weight room from 6:00-8:00 a.m. every weekday except for Friday.  This shows their passion and dedication to their school and football team.

This year the Riverdale football season will kick off on Friday, August 13, as the Rebels take on the Central Pioneers in a home game in East Point.  We all can’t wait to see them under the Friday night lights and wish the Little Rebels and the Rebels good luck this season!

Photo credit: Keri Dortlon


Cruisin’ Front Street

Beard’s Automotive and Scott Bamburg invite all automotive enthusiasts to a show and shine on historic Front Street Saturday August 28th.  The event is from 11:00 am until 4:00 pm.

Bamburg told the Journal, “Everyone is invited to attend. Beards Automotive  is hosting a car, truck, bike, rat rod, or anything you want to show event.”  Bamburg added, “No entry fee will be charged as this will be a show and shine event. The event is open to all clubs and individuals who has anything they would like to show off.

For several years the Coushatta Chamber held a car show in Coushatta.  The last show was in May or 2019 and the 2020 event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 shutdown.  Bamburg said the chamber had assisted him in securing the location for the August event.

Bamburg said, “This will be our first event. Hopefully it will turn into an annual event for the town of Coushatta.”

At this time, Bamburg is looking for food vendors for the show and shine.  Anyone seeking more information on Cruisin’ Front Street can call Bamburg at Beards Automotive, 318-932-0819 or his cell 318-510-9097.


4-H Cooking Instruction

Members of Red River 4-H received valuable instruction in culinary arts last week.  They prepared many nutritious and delicious dishes.

Jacque Fontenot, the local 4-H Agent posted, “These future chefs kept us rolling as we learned all kinds of new cooking techniques!

FCS Agent Kimberlyn Jones provided the instruction to the students.  Fontenot said, “Thank you for teaching us how to make beignets, meat pies, pita and hummus, and much more!”


Red River Student Top Honor Cadet in CAP

The Top Honor Cadet of the Louisiana Wing of Civil Air Patrol’s 2021 Encampment is a local student.  She is Abby Sims, and she was ranked #1 out of 80 cadets to earn this distinction!

Civil Air Patrol is an auxiliary of the US Air Force that was established to encourage young people in the areas of responsibility, character, leadership, self-discipline and physical fitness. They also teach them emergency services skills, aerospace education, along with many other cool things.

Cadet Sims earned the honor this summer during the CAP encampment at Keesler Air Force Base near Biloxi, MS.  The CAP Wing meets every Tuesday at Barksdale.  Abby Sims is 15 and will be a Sophomore at Red River High in the fall.

Proud mother Kala Sims said, “I’m so proud of her! This is one tough little stick of dinomite! And smart, too!” Kala Sims described the summer event as an encampment that is similar to Basic Training. Eight days of activities based on all of the above.

If you have a child 12-18 who may be interested in CAP, Sims said to contact her.  She is the Children’s Librarian at the Red River Parish Library. “This is an incredible opportunity for our young people! They meet at Barksdale and other squadrons around the state,” said Sims.


Summer Hill Pastor Installation

In late August, the Reverend Martin F. Washington, Sr. will be officially installed at Summer Hill Baptist Church.  Currently Washington serves Willow Grove Baptist Church as well as Summer Hill.

Washington will be the thirteenth pastor of Summer Hill Baptist Church.  The installation will be on Sunday, August 22nd at 2:00 pm.

Washington told the Journal he is transitioning to the ministry full time.  He said, “I am continuing to work in a secular job.  Hopefully by the start of 2022 I will be in ministry full time.”

“I grew up there,” Washington said.  “Summer Hill is my home church.  That is where I first gave my life to the Lord.  I have been there all my life.”


Interview With Bassmaster Classic Champion Hank Cherry

By Steve Graf

Here’s an interview I did last week with the 2021 Bassmaster Classic Champion Hank Cherry. Hank just accomplished what only three other anglers have ever done in history by winning back-to-back Classics. Today you’ll see from his perspective how this tournament unfolded and allowed him to win once again. Financially, a Classic win is worth $300,000 but the impact it has on an angler’s career is huge. Now let’s here from the man himself…Hank Cherry!

Angler’s Perspective: Hank have you recovered from the Classic and the high temperatures you all experienced at Ray Roberts?

Hank: “The heat was unbearable and just the grind of the Bassmaster Classic getting up at 3:00 in the morning every day takes a toll on you both mentally and physically. Now I’m just trying to figure out what happens next and where do we go from here? At the same time, I’m trying to get the family settled back down and make sure they are taken care of before setting out and completing the 2021 regular Elite Series season.”

Angler’s Perspective: This being your second go round with winning the Classic, you should have a pretty good idea for what lies ahead. Compare last year’s win to this year.

Hank:  “Well last year I won this event during the Covid 19 pandemic and this year’s win has already been a lot different. I missed out on several promotional opportunities last year with all the restrictions of Covid 19. But this go round, it looks like I’ll be traveling more and doing more speaking engagements which I really like. I enjoy the interaction with other anglers and the fans. Heck, I might have to hire a travel agent! This year I’m really looking forward to a true victory tour.”

Angler’s Perspective:: Hank, several anglers who many thought would win this event really stumped their toe and struggled. Was it an advantage for you to not have any experience or history on this body of water?

Hank:  “I’ve never been a huge practice guy, but this tournament if you knew anything,  then you really knew nothing due to the high-water conditions and the lake changing every day. There were bushes that are normally on the water’s edge, that were now 4 feet under water. Also, that late winter freeze they had in this region back in the early spring, really set everything back about a month. So, for this event, you really had to fish the moment and disregard what you might have learned in practice due to the constant changing conditions.”

Angler’s Perspective:: Tell us about day 1 and 2 and what you did to catch a good limit both days.

Hank:  “Well the first 2 days I got off to a great start by catching a 6 pounder and 5 pounders early. This really put me in position to fish the way I wanted to by flipping the bushes and throwing a jerk bait along the dam.  The problem in this event was the fact that there was an early shad spawn bite up until 8:00 or 8:30. Then it got really tough, and it became a true grind as the bite really slowed down. But I was able to weigh-in a really good bag on day 1 at 20 pounds 4 ounces and 17 pounds 10 ounces on day 2. This was really unexpected but allowed me to get off to a great start one days one and two which set me up to go for the win on day 3.”

Angler’s Perspective:  Talk about how tough it was on the final day.

Hank: “The third and final day was really tough, hot and humid. Caught one early on a jig and then I went forever without a bite. Then I caught another fish that was a 4 and 3/4 pounder that was probably the dumbest fish in the lake as I pitched to a bush and the bait ricocheted off the bush 4 feet and the fish swam out and ate the bait and went back to the bush. The turning point for me on the final was when I hung up my jig and broke it off in a bush and I decided to downsize with smaller line and a smaller profile bait which is how I caught my last three fish and finished out my limit. I actually went the last two hours of the tournament without a bite.”

Angler’s Perspective: Hank did you know you had won the Classic as you headed in or were you thinking someone probably busted a big bag toady?

Hank: “No, but I knew I had done my best considering the conditions and how tough it seemed.  As I got to the weigh-in I heard that my buddy Matt Arey had caught them pretty good, but I also knew after doing the math in my head that someone would have really had to crush them to beat me.  The thing about this event was that every guy in the top 5 had lost enough fish to win the Classic including Matt Arey who lost two really good fish that would have sealed the deal for him had he landed those fish. But that’s the nature and unfortunate reality of this sport. You’re going to lose some fish; you just hope it does not cost you the win.”

Angler’s Perspective:  Hank earlier you talked about feeling good about how you fished this event and that you gave it your best. Have you ever fished a tournament where you did not feel this way?

Hank: “I’m sure there’s been an event or two where I defeated myself mentally. As a former baseball player, there were times when I felt like I was just going through the motions and just didn’t perform at a high level or the level that I expect. It’s not something I make a habit of but there are times when fishing is comparable to any other sport in that the mental approach is just as important as the physical approach.”

Angler’s Perspective:  Hank, talk about the frame of mind going into the final day as the leader versus being a few pounds back of the leader and having to come from behind.

Hank: “Well, I’ve always said it easier doing the hunting versus being the one hunted. Your approach is totally different in the fact that you don’t have that pressure of trying to close out the tournament. Mentally when you’re chasing someone, you can just go out and fish and swing for the fences so to speak. But when you’re leading and things aren’t going your way on the final day, you start to second guess yourself and what you’re doing.  But for me, I pride myself on being a closer and I can’t think of any time when I wasn’t able to close out a tournament when I did have a lead. Winning an event of this level and having won last year, gives you a tremendous amount of confidence knowing that you’ve been there and done it before.”

Angler’s Perspective:: Hank, thank you taking the time to share your incredible victory and I’m looking forward to watching you go for the three-peat in the 2022 Bassmaster Classic that will be held on your home body of water at Lake Hartwell.

Hank: “Hey thanks for having me today and I’m really looking forward to next year’s event. Hopefully I’ll being doing another interview with you!”

I hope you’ve enjoyed this interview and insight with 2021 Bassmaster Classic Champion Hank Cherry held at Lake Ray Roberts outside of Ft. Worth, Texas. Hank has done an outstanding job of representing the sport over the last year. He’s truly been a great champion and will once again do another awesome job of promoting the sport. Till next time, good luck and good fishing and don’t forget to set the hook!!


Opening:  Creative Arts Teacher/Band Director

The Red River Parish School Board is accepting applications for Red River High/ Junior High Creative Arts Teacher/ Band Director. This person will be responsible for teaching music classes on both campuses and will obtain the position of Jr/ Sr. High Band Director.

You may submit applications at the Red River Parish School Board and at  rrbulldogs.com.

For more information, you may contact Nicole Eason by email neason@rrbulldogs.com or JC Dickey by email jcdickey@rrbulldogs.com.

Nicole M. Eason

Red River Parish School Board

Human Resources Department


Red River Elementary Schedules Open House

The elementary school issued an invitation to parents and guardians of students to their 2021-2022 Open House.  It will begin at 5:00 pm on August 9th.

Parents and Guardians of all 3-5 students are invited to meet the teachers, hear an overview of the expectations for the school year, and other exciting information!

This week the elementary school PAW Parents group sent out a notice that they were discontinuing their social media page.  The school has a new social media page that friends and family of the school are invited to join.  The school also has a new logo for their page.


Recognition for Tech’s MBA Program

Louisiana Tech University’s Traditional Master of Business Administration has been named to Fortune’s inaugural full-time MBA ranking. The College of Business was ranked No. 64 in the nation, and the only public institution in Louisiana named to the list.

Methodology for this ranking included a heavily weighted outcomes score (including median and mean base salaries and job placement rates), brand score (based on Fortune/Ipsos brand survey to hiring managers), and Fortune 1000 score (number of MBA alumni in C-suite positions in Fortune 1000 organizations).

“This ranking is a testament to the quality of our faculty, staff, and students, and shines a light on the fantastic outcomes of our graduates” said Dr. Chris Martin, Dean of the College of Business. “We pride ourselves on preparing our graduates for success in their careers through relevant and innovative academics, and we are grateful that Fortune has recognized these efforts.”

The latest Fortune ranking joins a host of accolades for the College of Business, including U.S. News & World Report’s lists of Best Business Schools, Best Graduate Programs, and Best Online MBA Programs.


Eat Healthy

Red River Public Schools has posted information on the role nutrition plays in a child’s growth and development.

Research indicates that 90% of an individual’s brain development occurs between birth and 5 years, and that the first 2 years of life is vital for overall healthy growth and development. Starting good nutrition practices in a child’s early years can help them develop healthy dietary patterns as they get older.

Following are the 5-food groups and typical minimum servings for your child per healthychildren.org. This is a great place to start!

  • Vegetables: 3-5 servings per day. A serving may consist of 1 cup of raw leafy vegetables, 3/4 cup of vegetable juice, or 1/2 cup of other vegetables, chopped raw or cooked.
  • Fruits: 2-4 servings per day. A serving may consist of 1/2 cup of sliced fruit, 3/4 cup of fruit juice, or a medium-size whole fruit, like an apple, banana, or pear.
  • Bread, cereal, or pasta: 6-11 servings per day. Each serving should equal 1 slice of bread, 1/2 cup of rice or pasta, or 1 ounce of cereal.
  • Protein foods: 2-3 servings of 2-3 ounces of cooked lean meat, poultry, or fish per day. A serving in this group may also consist of 1/2 cup of cooked dry beans, one egg, or 2 tablespoons of peanut butter for each ounce of lean meat.
  • Dairy products: 2-3 servings per day of 1 cup of low-fat milk or yogurt, or 1 1/2 ounces of natural cheese.

ETC… For Friday, July 23rd

The Yvette Landry Trio will perform at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum at 800 Front Street in downtown Natchitoches on Saturday, July 31 at 2 p.m. The performance is part of the 2021 NSU Folklife Concert Series, a series of six Saturday concerts in July and August.  The concerts will highlight different folk musical traditions with a 45-minute music set followed by interviews with the musicians and an audience Q&A. Admission is free and open to the general public.

The Children’s Summer Program series at the Red River Library concludes on Monday.  The final event features the Jubilee Petting Zoo at 2:00 pm.  It will be set up beside the library.  This is traditionally the highest attended event in the summer series, so get there early.


We Lead

Red River student Addison Bounds has just returned from the We LEAD Conference.  She represented the local 4-H program.

Recently Bounds was selected as an Ambassador for the Shooting Sports Board.  Her mother, Jana said, “My girl was SOOO Nervous about attending the We LEAD Conference alone and not knowing anyone but that did not last long at all she has met some people and is having a great time.”  She added, “She learned what will be expected of her as an Ambassador and got to help make plans for upcoming events for the Shooting Shorts this coming season.”


Award Presented to Local Artist

Red River High student Taylor Boulas received his award for creating the winning entry in the VFW patriotic art contest at a banquet last Thursday.  The state director of the competition presented the award as parents and members of the local VFW and Auxiliary looked on.

“VFW 20-21 Department Scholarship Chairman Lisa Delaney along with Dawn Brewer (District 12 President) and Heather McCoy (VFW Auxiliary 7287 President) presented a  certificate and $50 prize money to Department of Louisiana 1st Place Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contest winner,” said Delaney. 

She said, “We had a total of 9 Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contest entries, and it was a very close call for the judges as we had some terrific talent submit entries this year.”

Congratulations to Taylor Boulas from Ringgold, LA for a job well done.  His work was

“Caught My Eye” and the media was Color pencil and marker.

State winners in the National Contest will be judged at National Headquarters and winners announced July 30. The contest, sponsored annually by the VFW Auxiliary, recognizes up-and-coming artists and encourages patriotism in youth. A total of $31,500 in national scholarships will be awarded to ten (10) students with the first-place national winner receiving a $15,000 scholarship.


Historic Legislative Session Underway

The Louisiana Legislature is holding a veto override session for the first time in modern state history.  The announcement came Friday as leaders of the Republican-controlled House and Senate recounted the previous evening’s vote to return to Baton Rouge and challenge Gov. John Bel Edwards’ veto pen.

District 22 Representative Gabe Firment said they will consider overriding several of Governor John Bel Edwards’ vetoes.  Among them Firment listed the bill titled Fairness in Women’s Sports and Constitutional Carry.

“The majority of senators have heard from their constituents who have asked them to take votes on the veto override,” Senate President Page Cortez, R-Lafayette, said. “It has become clear that the majority of senators felt compelled to return for the veto session based on constituent feedback.”

“This is democracy in action,” House Speaker Clay Schexnayder, R-Gonzales, said.

Red River’s Senator, Louis Bernard, isn’t convinced concerning the necessity for the concealed carry bill.  Bernard said, “Since the regular session ended, I had time to reflect on the manner in which passage of SB-118 would affect law enforcement personnel. Many felt this would create yet another level of risk to a job already dangerous enough. I have to respect that view.

“I have voted for every piece of firearm legislation since becoming a Senator. I believe wholeheartedly in the 2nd Amendment and in the right of citizens to carry a concealed weapon. But with great freedoms, come great responsibility. I believe that SOME level of training should be in place before carrying a concealed weapon. We owe that not only to our law enforcement community, but for the safety of the general public and the individual who carries the weapon.”

Bernard added, “I totally respect the views of those who believe that no training or permit should be required. In future legislative sessions, I will support efforts to make the requirements for concealed carry less onerous to our citizens.”

Override sessions are automatic in Louisiana but have been cancelled by simple majority votes every year since the state’s revamped constitution was ratified in 1974. That changed, however, when only 12 of 39 senators and 35 of 104 House members chose to opt-out.

Edwards vetoed 28 bills from the 2021 regular legislative session. Any one of them could be challenged.  None has been formally listed, but a House spokesperson confirmed two bills will “definitely” be called: one dealing with transgender athletes and another regarding concealed handguns.

Senate Bill 118, sponsored by Sen. Jay Morris, R-West Monroe, would have allowed residents age 21 and older to carry concealed firearms without obtaining a permit.

Edwards said the measure was not in the interest of public safety and vetoed it early this month.

The Center Square contributed to this report.

 


Riverdale Academy Holds Mini Cheer Camp

By Molly Seales

On July 14-16, young ladies in grades pre-kindergarten through 6th gathered in the Riverdale gymnasium for mini-cheer camp. This year Mrs. Paige Bell will be their sponsor, and she is looking forward to having a great time with the girls.  Mrs. Paige said, “There were 25 girls at camp, and there are a total of 31 signed up for mini-cheer this year.  There are more asking how to sign up.”

Mrs. Paige Bell started every day of mini-cheer camp with a prayer for the Riverdale family and for the students that were attending cheer camp and football camp.  At mini-cheer camp, the girls learned a dance, the Riverdale Academy fight song, and several cheers that they will perform throughout the year.  While it was a lot of fun, it was also a lot of work due to the great turnout.  Mrs. Paige wanted to give a special thanks to Sidney Jones, who is the varsity cheer coach, and the members of the squad who helped at camp.  She said, “They were lifesavers!”  Varsity cheerleaders in attendance to help out were Kenley Loftin, Renee Prosperie, Emma Clemons, Emily Kirkland, Molly Seales, Kacie Harper, Emma Giddings, Makayla Pickett, and Charity Williamson.

Bell was excited with the results of the camp.  Bell said, “I am so proud of these Little Rebel Cheerleaders already! We just finished a 3 day cheer camp and I think we all learned a lot!! I’m so looking forward to being their coach this year and can hardly wait to see all that we accomplish!”

This year in addition to cheering at home varsity and pee-wee games, there will be a mini-cheer team that travels to the away pee-wee football games. Mrs. Paige said, “Not all girls will choose to travel, but I think I’ll have between 10 and 15 that will.” Last year the 5th-6th grade RA Pee-Wee football team was the runner-up in the Class 1A Swamp Bowl. This was the best league finish that the Little Rebels have ever had.  The Little Rebels will lose Cannon Breedlove and Preston Eaves as they move up to 7th grade, but look for them to be strong competitors as they return the rest of the starters from last year.

While the girls were in the gym at camp, many of the Little Rebels were out on the field at Marston Stadium attending football camp to prepare for the season. The RA Mini-Cheer squad is looking forward to cheering on the boys of fall.

Photo credits: Keri Dortlon