Proud of East Texas: TVCC Cheerleaders

By Joan Hallmark

At Trinity Valley Community College's Homecoming in Athens, October 12th and 13th, 65 years of Cardinal Cheerleaders will be celebrated. With one of the top cheerleading programs in the entire U.S., along with National and International Championships, the college has plenty to celebrate.

The first Cardinal Cheerleading Team was established in 1947 as an informal group. But it was in 1965, when Connie C.J. Russell took over as coach, that the team began its climb to national recognition. Under her coaching, Cardinal Cheerleaders won five National Championships and two International Championships. To date the Cardinal teams have won nine National Championships, making them one of the most successful teams in the history of cheerleading

C.J. Russell retired in 1997. She is now one of the most sought after cheerleading judges on the international scene and keeps in touch with he hundreds of former students on Facebook.

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