Dalton State College

May 9, 2014

N. Murray cheer duo headed to DSC

CHATSWORTH — For North Murray cheerleader Tori Stainton, earning a spot on Dalton State College’s competition squad is the fulfillment of a long process. Classmate Stacia Baker went for a tryout on a whim and found her own spot with the Roadrunners.

Both celebrated their selection by the Dalton State coaching staff Wednesday with a party at North Murray with family, friends and administrators. Stainton will participate with both the competition and spirit squads, while Baker will be part of the school’s spirit squad.

“I have met Tori many times, and she has made connections with our program and worked hard in getting to know (assistant) coach Austin (Culp) and myself,” Dalton cheerleading coach Robyn Pursley said. “I have seen her in a couple of different athletic settings, and I have gotten to know her and she is a wonderful person.

“Stacia, I have just recently gotten to know, but she is a strong base and a solid base for our program.”

Pursley said that while neither Baker nor Stainton currently have an athletic scholarship for next season, that could change for Stainton this summer. Some scholarship funds for competition cheerleaders remain, although another tryout for prospective new members is scheduled for June.

“We have already awarded our basic scholarships,” Pursley said. “They tried out and made our roster, but we haven’t awarded any monies. It is a possibility that they could be awarded some monies. We still have scholarships that are still open. Right now, neither one of them have been awarded monies, but there is a possibility in July.”

Stainton, a 4-foot-11 flyer, was introduced to the program by former North Murray teammate and current Dalton State cheerleader Jordan Collins.

“I knew someone who already cheered for them, and I have done competition cheer for a while,” Stainton said. “I really chose Dalton State because it is local and I didn’t want to (move far from home), and when I heard they had a cheer program, I thought that would be fun.”

While Stainton has been a competition cheerleader for the Mountaineers, she knows moving up to the collegiate level will require her to elevate her skills.

“I have to work harder,” she said. “I am already going to the gym more and it is going to be more of a challenge than regular high school cheerleading. I have been working on more stunts like advanced tumbling. The competition part is rough.”

Stainton plans on majoring in dental hygiene.

Baker, a 5-4 base, has been a cheerleader since eighth grade and has been a dancer for the past decade — she teaches dance at Performing Arts Unlimited. She also plans on majoring in dental hygiene.

Cheering in college wasn’t something she had really chased.

“It was kind of a spontaneous thing,” Baker said. “Two of my friends came up to me on the day of tryouts and asked if I wanted to try out with them. I said, ‘Sure.’ But it went very well and all came together.”

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