When jumping and yelling with all her energy, it is hard to tell coach Jessie La Bohn-Moorehead from the equally kinetic students in her pep squad.
The petite, bubbly coach was appointed to the serious task of bringing back into action the GCC cheerleader and song teams after an absence of six years. The results of the hard work by the coach and her teams were seen for the first time at the opening of the Sartoris Field on Sept. 3.
“Everything was crazy on that first day. First team, first field and so on,” La Bohn-Moorehead said about the first football game.
“When your crowd is yelling back the cheers you provide, it is always a good sign. They [the crowd] were wonderful, and every game will be better and better. I was extremely satisfied with our performance.”
However, the purpose of having cheerleaders is not only to “hear the crowd yell back the cheers you provide,” La Bohn-Moorehead explained, “but to develop both the cheer and song squads into competitive programs and have Glendale be a dominating force in collegiate competitions.”
Winning in competitions is something that this coach has personally experienced. She danced and performed through high school and college and was part of squads that won national titles every year.
“I was named cheerleader of the year by the State of Washington,” she recalled. “After high school, I performed a with all-star teams, then had the opportunity to cheer at the collegiate level.”
However, cheer leading was not originally her intended career. She fell into it by doing choreography to earn money for her college education.
“It [coaching cheerlead teams] was something that just happened. I found out I was pretty good when my material began winning competitions and winning more job offers,” the coach said.
The song and cheer teams are part of the GCC pep squad, and are campus clubs. According to Melanie Brown, administrative assistant to the dean of student affairs, the student government (ASGCC) funds this club by paying the coach’s salary. The players pay their own expenses.
GCC cheer leading and song teams are composed of 18 women and two men. They will perform during the soccer, football and basketball games during fall semester.
To be part of the cheer squad, students must be skilled in dance, gymnastics and tumbling. For song team, “the student must have dancing experience at a level of at least level 1 of jazz,” the coach explained.
Although the teams are full for this semester, there will be opportunities to tryout for spring semester. Interested students may observe practice in the Sierra Nevada Gym women’s dance room on Monday and Wednesday from 8 to 10 p.m.
Looking forward to the growth of the program, coach La-Bohn Moorehead said, “I wake up every morning excited by the opportunity to work with these talented students.”