GNTC cheer squad adds LaFayette's Tara Clark

Georgia Northwestern bolstered its cheerleading roster with another Walker County athlete last week as Bobcat cheer coach Karen Stoker announced the signing of LaFayette High School competition cheer standout Tara Clark.

“I started cheering when I was six at the LaFayette Recreation Department,” said Clark. “I’ve only taken a couple of seasons off since then. Basketball and competition cheerleading seasons have been my focus. It’s been intense. Signing with Georgia Northwestern just feels like the right move now.”

Clark performed on a select competition cheer squad in the past under Stoker.

“Tara has a great presentation and amazing leadership qualities,” said Stoker. “Having someone who is ready to take a lead role is something Georgia Northwestern is happy to have on board. It’s a sentimental signing for me, too, though. We’ve worked together for years.”

The soon-to-be high school graduate will be enrolling in the college’s Occupational Therapy Assistant program.

“I really want to work on the pediatric side of this,” said Clark. “I just have a passion for this and want to be able to do it for a living. To be able to pursue this and cheer for a college is really exciting.”

Clark is the second Walker County cheerleader to sign with the Bobcats’ squad, joining Ridgeland standout Makayla Derryberry.

GNTC is launching their intercollegiate cheerleading squad this fall as they will perform this first season for the college’s men’s and women’s basketball programs which run from November through March.

The college is looking into the possibility of expanding the program in the near future, as well as adding more athletic offerings through its Northwest Georgia campuses. A golf program is set to tee off in spring of 2014 as the search for the program’s first coach is now underway.

“The college’s athletic mission has always had a focus of giving local athletes the real opportunity to compete on the intercollegiate level,” said GNTC Athletic Director David Stephenson. “We have standout competitors in this region that can go toe-to-toe with colleges across the Southeast. Coach Stoker knows this and is forming an amazing squad based partially on this principle.”