GRC names Jerrica Whitaker as cheer coach

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The Whitaker family - Josh, Jerrica, and Karson

Smoke Signals Staff

Along with loads of experience, expertise, and accolades, new cheer coach Jerrica Whitaker brings clear-cut goals for the GRC program.

“I believe a cheerleading coach should be a role model for student athletes and create a positive learning environment,” she said. “I will foster a sense of commitment and encourage cheerleaders to set goals that are attainable. I plan to run an organized program and have very clear expectations while having fun and enjoying cheerleading.”

Jerrica knows plenty about enjoying the sport. A cheerleader since kindergarten, she has experience at all levels of the sport, including All-Star cheerleading, high school cheer, college cheer, and competitive tumbling and trampoline. 

She won two Mid-South Conference titles as part of the University of Pikeville cheer squad, won Cheerleader of the Year for the MSC Conference, and was named All-Conference.

“My first priority as cheer coach is to choose a squad and begin open gym,” she said. “I am excited to get this year started. I look forward to meeting everyone and discussing the upcoming season. And of course I look forward to getting back on the mat and being competitive within the state and nationally.”

Jerrica her husband, Josh, moved to Winchester in 2017 when Josh accepted a job as a civil engineer. Since becoming Winchester residents, the couple has grown their family to include son Karson, now 2.

For three years, Jerrica has traveled more than an hour to Perry County to teach kindergarten and 1st grade at Buckhorn Elementary. Starting in the fall, she will work at GRC until she can find a closer teaching job.

“My family is excited to be a part of GRC and be more involved in the community,” she said. “This is where we plan for our son to grow up and be a GRC Cardinal in the future.”

After being away from cheer for a few years, Jerrica is more than ready to get back at it. “I have been missing cheerleading over the last couple of years and always wanted to be involved and the time came for me to finally take the plunge and get back into cheerleading,” she said. “I always have had a passion to help others and to getting to pursue a dream job at a high school like GRC is a blessing.”

Her overall goal, she said, is to build on the excellent GRC cheer tradition. “I want our team to be role models for the community, while supporting sports and activities at GRC,” she said. “I expect success within the classroom and on the mat. I have very high expectations for members of the GRC Cheer team to be great student athletes who will make our school proud.”