Netflix’s Cheer features East Texas college cheer athletes

“Show that it’s not just a sideline sport”
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Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 10:11 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 12, 2022 at 10:40 PM CST
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ATHENS, Texas (KLTV) - The Trinity Valley Community College Cheer team is gaining national attention from Netflix’s docuseries, Cheer. Season 2 released Wednesday and showcases more about the program at TVCC.

Inside the Cardinal Fitness Center in Athens, Texas, the Trinity Valley Community College Cheer team is practicing for another season, which is nothing new for them. What was new was being called by Netflix to be part of the docuseries, Cheer.

“I was just surprised they were taking cheer that serious, because most people look over cheer. They don’t consider it a sport, so I was surprised,” said TVCC cheerleader Benji Chester.

The series follows Corsicana’s Navarro College competitive cheer team as they work to win a national title. In the second season, which is out now, TVCC, Navarro’s biggest rival, begins getting introduced to the nation. Vontae Johnson is the co-head coach for TVCC Cheer and said the first season they declined too much attention because they were focused on winning a championship.

“When they came back of course you know we felt like it was a good opportunity for the athletes and the school to be able to get recognition,” Johnson said. “Obviously we still wanted to keep our same goal, was to go get a championship, but we wanted our athletes to be able to have that opportunity to be recognized as well, for how hard they work.”

For Jaden ‘Jaymo’ Rice, another TVCC cheerleader who gets featured on the season, he said it was neat to get to share his and his sister’s story to get the TVCC and cheer. Getting used to all the crew did take some time.

“I would say it was a little weird cause you’re trying to stay focused on actually performing, doing all your skills and they’re all running around following you. Once you get used to it and you get used to comfortable, you can just be yourself and you don’t even notice they’re there,” Rice said.

The cameras follow around the athletes during practice, eating meals, and other parts of their day-to-day lives.

Khris Franklin is the co-head coach for TVCC Cheer. He said it’s important to remember everyone who makes their program successful.

“Not just the cheerleaders, not just the coaches, but parents, and administration and housing and cafeteria, and everybody. It’s one big system, we’re just getting the credit for it right now,” Franklin said.

“I thought it was great to be able to shed light on things that these athletes are able to do. Show the athleticism,” Johnson said. “Show that it’s not just a sideline sport, because you know, that’s how it gets perceived as sometimes in certain places.”

TVCC cheer took home the championship trophy from Daytona in 2016 and 2017. In the past they’ve come in second to rivals, Navarro College. Season two takes us along for the 2020-21 season and how they did.

You can watch season two of Cheer which is out now on Netflix. Season one followed the cheer team at Navarro College in Corsicana.

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