*CHEER SAVANNAH* Inc.: Coach Steph

dmac with the girls
kissin dan

Cheer Savannah All-Stars was founded in the fall of 2000. Our All-Star program is currently made up of 5 teams and approximately 100 girls ages 4-19. As the President & founder of Cheer Savannah, Inc., I thought some people might be interested in my history and credentials....

I started cheering as a mascot at age four while I took dance and gymnastics to sharpen my skills. Eventually, I dedicated myself to cheering for Bleckley County Schools in Cochran, GA where I was a NCA All-American for four years and captain my senior year. I cheered in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and earned an NCA Staff application my senior year. At 17, I started a cheerleading and tumbling business with my best friend whereby we coached over 80 students each month from ages 4-college.

After high school I attended college at Georgia Southern University.  I was a member of the Southern Explosion Dance Team for three seasons, captain my last year, and choreographed our game-time & Nationals routine.

I met my dream guy, who happened to be a gorgeous football player at GSU and married the month after turning 21!  We moved to Perry, GA, for his first football coaching job while I continued my cheer coaching at his school----Westfield Schools.  While pursuing my communications degree from Mercer University in Macon, GA, as a senior project, I organized and hosted the first ever (and then annual) cheerleading competition exclusively for all of the private schools in Georgia. I am proud to have been instrumental in sanctioning cheerleading and helping host and organize the state cheerleading competition for the GISA.

After moving to Savannah for my husband's career in '98, I gave birth to the first of 2 baby girls and did not want work a traditional 40-hour per week office job. So I started teaching tumbling again as well as coaching various cheer squads around the city. I offered several clinics and camps and worked lots of free-lance jobs for different schools and rec programs. I was grateful to be a part of a sports camp every summer, whereby all of the proceeds were donated to Bethesda Home for Boys.  While volunteering at Bethesda one weekend, I met a handsome and sweet young resident ---and as soon as I saw him smile, I knew God had a plan for us.  At the time I felt like we could be a blessing in this young boy's life, however he turned out to be the biggest blessing in OUR lives! Now, we have the best son anyone could want, and Demarcus is the perfect big brother for Southern & Saylor. Besides, Danny & I could have never created a 6ft 2, 280 pound black kid on our own! :)

Cheer Savannah was officially started in 2000 when most schools decided they were not interested in hosting competitive cheerleading in our area.  Only 24 girls responded to the ad in the paper and no-one was cut!  So one little team and one little coach started it all---- rolling mats before and after every practice at a local school.  Now 10 years later, we have earned 90-something National Titles (we've lost count), several Grand Champions, and several Innovative Choreography Awards at NCA's All-Star Nationals in Dallas, TX. In the fall of 2004, we were profiled in American Cheerleader Magazine as one of the top 20 programs in the country! Our senior teams have won a bid to worlds for the past 3 years, and our little kids are the winningest babies in the country! They have won 4 Cheersport National Titles in the past 5 years! So from little to big, we are passionate about developing championship athletes!

Some of my best coaches are my own cheerleaders who "student coach" while also cheering. Everyone at Cheer Savannah is so proud of our 3 alumni who are currently cheering on scholarships at UGA, in addition to the the ones at USC, & Valdosta!  We have graduated several athletes to cheer among the college ranks throughout the years and have defintily found our nitch at develping collegiate Division 1 cheerleaders!  But while we love to boast about the athletes who go on to cheer on scholarships at the next level, most of my athletes retire from cheering after high-school graduation. They go on to lead great lives and often send me letters of THANKS for the character lessons they learned and morals they developed while here.  We are most proud of the Godly ladies of character and class we mold, not the cheerleaders.

I am just one piece of the puzzle though! The other pieces are my loyal athletes, all of the supportive parents, our passionate coaches, my devoted husband who loves and supports me, my beautiful 2 little girls who help me out by cheering on 5 teams between them---and who are patient enough to share me with the other 130 girls here. My big baby son who understands when I miss his football games at UGA because of a competition, my Mom and Mawmaw who miss me at their birthday parties, my South Georgia friends and family who just know I will never attend a wedding, birthday, funeral, or reunion because of my commitment to my athletes.  They realize that my work is not just a "job", but a ministry.

And, I believe with all of my heart, God gave me this gym to influence kids and be a witness for Him. Cheerleading is just the avenue for reaching young people. It is my conviction! Most adults push religion down kids' throats and therefore, the kids rebel. My family and & I try to lead by example instead of by pressure. We try and show them a happily married couple, who love their children and parent them correctly, who are educated and successful in their fields, who love sports, who love life and friends and family, who are "normal", who like hiphop music, who thinks dancing is fun and not satanic, who understands when kids screw up, who sins every day and admits it, who tries not to judge others, and like them---falls short EVERY DAY and reveals their imperfections but, keeps trying.  We started off eating tuna and struggling to put gas in our cars. Only through God's grace have we been blessed enough to lead such a fullfilling life.  

Cheer Savannah started as my dream, but because of so many...has become a reality! I am forever indebted to you all. My Curry and the Curry family helped me get a jump start when the bank turned my request down to start this business! Andi & Todd Missroon kept me afloat and put us on the world-wide web and gave us an identity! All of my original families are just as responsible for this gym's success as I am. I was just a baby, and they raised me along with their kids, and saw my passion so did eveyrthing they could to support it. Thank God for all the blessings he continues to bestow in my life! I am am humble and grateful! 

"Reach your hands up in the air and you can play with the stars, it's not the hand that your dealt but how your playin your cards!"   Ludacris 

 "Blessed are the cracked, for it is US that let the light in!"

southerns 1st yr
southerns 1st year cheering at age 4

bowl game
cheering for our pride & joy at the bowl game!
Family and Faith keep me breathing!
family after tech
one heartbeat...coolest family on the planet!

the family
the boys are always there cheering us on!