Sports

New cheer coach brings innovative ideas

Elicia Williamson started cheering at 7-yearsold and began coaching at 15-years-old, eventually opening her own gym, Elite Cheer Company. Today, Williamson is the head cheer coach at John Brown University.

Williamson has high aspirations for the team. “The group of women that I am blessed to coach have already exceeded my expectations,” Williamson said. “I truly feel like the sky is the limit for these kids and would love to see them competing nationally as well.”

Cheerleaders Conner Bedor and Alyssa Garza agreed that Williamson’s high standards have stretched them.

“She’s very headstrong, but in a good way,” Garza said. “She’s very competitive and always has to have things perfect. I think that’s one thing that was lacking in previous years—being competitive and always wanting to look our best.”

The University cheerleading squad meets to practice twice a week. They currently focus on tumbling, jumps, changes, cheers and new stunts.

Williamson makes a point of introducing new moves to the squad, and no practice looks the same.

“She’s constantly having us try new stuff,” Bedor said. “She wants us to be better, so she’s not afraid to try a new cheer or stunt. She definitely makes us get out of our comfort zone.”

For years Williamson looked forward to coaching at a college level.

“I had such a strong love for the sport of cheer that from day one, I knew I wanted to make a life that it could be involved with,” Williamson said. “Having cheered at the collegiate level, it was always a dream of mine to take my knowledge and expand to the college level as well.”

The girls appreciate Williamson’s vision for the team.

“She has big plans for us,” Bedor said. “She has a view of where she wants us to be in the next few years, so that’s what she wants us working toward. She has a goal.”