SCOOBA – In advance of the upcoming academic year, East Mississippi Community College has announced the school's 2017-18 cheerleading team. The selections were made by first-year EMCC cheerleading coach Hanna Burnette.
EMCC's 2017-18 cheer squad will consist of three returning student-athletes and 15 new members. Along with sophomore captain Kayla Pinter (Sebastopol HS), the team also returns Ashlyn Armstrong (Caledonia) and Leighton Moffett (West Lauderdale HS).
In-state newcomers to this year's East Mississippi cheer team include the West Lauderdale tandem of Taylor Ketchens and Jessica Lloyd, the Choctaw County duo of Jamarius Miller and Steven Thompson, and Kemper County's Darren Bennoman. Also from the Magnolia State are Carley Hurst (Caledonia), Jordan McKinion (Union), Shelby Stricklin (Madison Central HS), Brooke Stringer (West Jones HS) and Alexis Thexton (Sumrall).
From out of state, former prep teammates Kohl Gilbert and Tristan Gilbert hail from Winfield, Ala., while Sulligent's Seth Bircheat and Lisa Anne Higgins from West Palm Beach, Fla. (The King's Academy) round of EMCC's newcomers from outside Mississippi.
Serving as EMCC's Leo the Lion mascot this season will be Batesville's Dalton Robison from North Delta High School.
Hired by East Mississippi this summer, Burnette is currently finishing up her bachelor's degree in kinesiology with a minor in business from Mississippi State University. She cheered for the MSU Bulldogs this past year while making the Dean's List. The Laurel native previously was a cheerleader and diamond girl at Jones County Junior College in Ellisville. A product of South Jones High School, the former Hanna Tolbert is married to Garrette Burnette, of Florence, who also cheered at MSU and JCJC.
"I am honored to have received this amazing opportunity to become part of the EMCC family," Burnette said. "I plan on continuing to grow this cheer program while helping these young adults achieve success."
This past January in Orlando, Fla., EMCC scored a school-best, fourth-place team finish in the Division II Small Coed finals of the 2017 Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA) College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship.