Cheerleading, poms both have new coaches


Photo by Jolie Graham

New cheerleading coach Evva Starr coaches with assistant coaches Jamie Graham and Janet Pitt at the football game against Clarksburg on Sept. 17.

In addition to the varsity football team having a new coach this year, both varsity cheerleading and poms have new coaches as well.

English teacher Evva Starr is the new coach for the cheerleading squad. She heard in the spring that the former coach would not be continuing. Athletic Specialist Al Lightsey reached out and asked Starr to fill the opening. Because she has no previous experience with cheerleading, she leans on the two assistant coaches, Jamie Graham and Janet Pitt. Both of these assistants have a lot of experience and are also former cheerleaders at this school. They provide the knowledge of the sport for Starr. Starr said her favorite part of coaching is that  “the energy and spirit of the girls is so much fun to be around.” 

My goal this year is to model to the Wootton community what it means to be a spirited member of this community and to pull everyone into that.

— Evva Starr

In addition to their work on the sidelines and field, the cheer team likes to continue their spirit during school hours. Senior captain Lizzy Jack appreciates how the coaches have helped ensure that the team is spirited and is dedicated to promoting morale around the school. The cheerleaders are bringing spirit to all varsity sports this year by cheering at home games of all varsity teams. ”My goal this year is to model to the Wootton community what it means to be a spirited member of this community and to pull everyone into that,” Starr said.

Michael Davis, also known as MJ, is the new coach for the poms squad. He heard about the opening from a current pom and decided to take the job due to his love of dance and sports. He said he feels he can bring more guidance to the team. Davis has an extensive background in dance including participation in the Dance Theatre of Harlem program, Dance Institute of Washington, Debbie Allen program, Hip Hop Dance Competition Teams, freestyle battles, being guest choreographer for dance teams, poms, music videos. He is also a stage dancer and lead summer dance counselor. He said he loves that as a coach that he can share his knowledge with his athletes along with constructive criticism. “My goal for this year is to condition and build on the style and technique of poms. I want the team to have fun, support Wootton’s other sports teams, and keep our audiences entertained. Most importantly, my goal is to have our team receive high marking when competition season arrives,” Davis said. 

Senior captain Sophie Friedman said she values his passion and experience for poms, and she believes that will help the team during competition season. She also admires how  involved with the team Davis is and that he cares about them a lot. “I think the new coach is super nice and passionate about dance,” Friedman said. 

As the school year continues, the new poms and cheerleading coaches are pushing to bring more spirit to the school. They are excited to share their knowledge with the athletes along with bringing creative flare to their routines this year.