Thomasville High School will be welcoming competition cheerleading back for the 2021-22 school year.
In a four-year rebuilding mode, the Bulldogs focused on garnering interest and participation in the program. Discussions and plans for the program's resurrection began in the summer of 2019 when Thomasville High School hired Jamie Richardson.
Richardson, a 2010 graduate of Thomas County Central, is a former member of both the competitive and spirit cheer squad. Upon graduation, she attended Ohio Wesleyan University, where she earned a bachelor's degree in health and kinesiology, with an emphasis in sports management.
After completing her undergraduate degree, she served four years as a professor and head cheerleading coach at Coffeyville Community College in Coffeyville, Kansas, before accepting the same position at Garden City Community College. At both stops, she was instrumental in rebuilding the schools' competitive cheer programs.
In 2017, Richardson earned a master's in education with a focus in sports management.
Richardson's vision for the program is for the team to be competitive against other programs within the area. Richardson said her primary focus is for "competition cheerleaders to maintain a 3.25-grade point average or higher."
Richardson believes that her first responsibility as a coach is not only to develop a great athlete but produce multi-skilled athletes that maintain high academic standards. The essential lesson she wants to instill into each competitive cheerleader is "heart and determination can take you anywhere."
"We are extremely thrilled to welcome back competitive cheerleading at Thomasville High School,” said Thomasville High School athletic director Chris Merritt. "Our coaches (Emma Pierce, Jamie Richardson, Kameon Hadley, and Angie Brooks) have worked diligently over the last four years to increase interest and participation. At this point, we believe we are ready to make a return back to the competitive arena.
"We believe with Coach Richardson's experience at the collegiate and high school levels this will prove beneficial to our student-competitors as they grow and develop within the program."
Richardson was raised in Thomas County and is the daughter of Layne and Georga Richardson.
"Thomasville City School family has welcomed me with open arms since my arrival,” she said. "I cannot say enough about the administration and the school and for them giving me this opportunity. I love watching students grow academically and athletically while becoming all-around individuals."