Dayton, Tenn. – Bryan College Head Cheer Coach, Janice Perron, is glad to announce that the Lions Cheer Program has grown by three with the recent signings of Morgan Clark, Makaila Boyd, and Katie Lee Turner.
All three future Lions are local, with Boyd being the closest as a Rhea County High School Golden Eagle. Boyd cheered for the Rhea County Basketball cheerleading team this past year and brings a plethora of talent to Bryan after competing with Center Stage Dance Company the past five years. Her efforts led to her receiving an offer to study ballet at the Joeffery Ballet School in New York City, but ultimately she felt that God led her to Bryan.
Left to right: Lily Dorn, Justin Boyd-Medina, Rebecca Dorn, Makaila Boyd, Jamie Dorn Back, RCHS Athletic Director Micah. Ruehling, RCHS Cheer Coach Deanna Smith Arnold and Bryan Cheer Coach Janice Perron.
When asked about why she chose Bryan, Boyd said," Bryan provides reminders throughout every single day that urge you to embrace your faith and be the best version of yourself."
Cheering is a great avenue to be a part of something bigger than yourself, and Boyd looks forward to using it as a way to build lasting relationships. She explained, "I enjoy cheering, and it's a way that I can connect with people. I will be able to help by being supportive and assist in choreographing routines."
"I am a graduate of Bryan, so I always hoped that she would choose Bryan," said Rebecca Dorn, Makaila's mom. "However, I never tried to influence her towards any school. I wanted it to be her decision completely. So, when she finally decided on Bryan, I was so glad that God led her to that decision."
Along with cheer and dance, Boyd also spends her extra time tutoring at Dayton City School, has worked her way to a level three black belt in taekwondo, and participated in Junior Leader Health Council. She plans on majoring in Elementary Education.
"Meeting Makaila was a God's plan," said Perron. "I had gone to a RCHS game to recruit RCHS and CCHS, not having anyone specific to watch. RCHS Athletic Director, Micah Ruehling, gave me Makaila's name. I talked with her briefly at the game, but when she came for a tour and practice I knew she would be a great fit. Even though she has not cheered for long, she was able to pick things up quickly. She has a dance and tumbling background and much of that will cross over into cheer next year."
Katie Lee Turner, seated at center, was surrounded by family and friends as she signed with Bryan's Cheer Squad. (Pictured are Ross and Christy, Turner, Caleb, Lily, and Ben Turner)
Another high-caliber student athlete from just down the road at Sale Creek High School, Katie Lee Turner, inked with the Lions to further her education and cheer career at Bryan.
Turner was hesitant in trying out for cheer while in high school, but when a friend of hers tried out and made the team then it provided the extra encouragement she needed. After that it was all history as she has served on the squad for three years.
When looking beyond high school and at colleges, she felt that Bryan was a relatively easy choice because of the integration of faith that thrives in the classroom.
"I started looking at Bryan over the summer and I really loved that they are a Christian school and I think that will help me with my faith so after my visit I knew that this is where I wanted to be," she said. "My walk with Christ will be strengthened during a very important season of my life."
When asked about why she likes to cheer, Turner mentioned, "I love cheerleading because of the opportunity I get to have leading everyone in school spirit."
"I had the opportunity to watch Katie Lee cheer on several occasions. Her coach and team were very welcoming and working with her team was really fun," Perron said. Turner made a trip to "the hill" last fall to visit Bryan and take a tour of the campus that made a great first impression.
"Katie has a great attitude, she works hard and fit right in when she came to visit us on campus. She even learned several new stunts during our one practice. Katie could have easily just stayed and started cheering this year. I am looking forward to working with her next fall," remarked Perron.
Turner said she is excited about the college experience, meeting other people and making new friends while also remaining close to those she's made throughout the years in school. She plans on studying Biology while at Bryan and pursuing a career in nursing.
While at Sale Creek, Turner served as treasurer in student council, was the top shooter on the rifle team for back-to-back seasons, and led as the captain of both the rifle and cheer teams.
Pictured is Morgan Clark signing to pursue her cheer career and college education at Bryan, while her family stand by to support.
Morgan Clark, daughter of John and Kelley Clark, will be taking her talents from McMinn County High School to Bryan College, as she becomes a Bryan Lion Cheerleader in the fall of 2017.
Clark not only challenged herself as a member of the Cherokee Cheer Team, but she also took part in Distinguished Young Women and the Universal Cheerleaders Association. The UCA's goal is to inspire leadership on and off the field.
"Cheer is my passion," said Clark. She has taken it on to use cheer as an instrument in raising, leading, and maintaining school spirit in and around communities.
The Christian atmosphere and friendly attitude shown by everyone was what drew Clark to Bryan.
"I'm thrilled that Morgan liked what she saw when she came to visit Bryan," said Perron. "When she came back and practiced with us I noticed that as soon as she started practicing she fit right in. I saw a lot of potential, and I'm looking forward to seeing what God has in store for her in the coming years."