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PLENTY TO CHEER ABOUT: Generations of Lamar cheerleaders work together to build float

Lamar School’s cheerleaders decided to celebrate Jonesborough Days’ 40th anniversary by taking a look back at those who came before them.
The 15 middle school girls, with help from parents and coaches, built a float for the Jonesborough Days parade that paid homage the school’s cheerleading squad of 1970.
Serving as a county high school at the time, the Green Wave cheerleaders rooted for their basketball team at both home and away games.
The squad included seven cheerleaders, three of whom returned to their alma mater last week to help build the float and reminisce about their time at Lamar School.
“It was such an honor to be a cheerleader here,” said Rita (Nelson) Mathes, who was a senior in 1970.
Now a resident of the South Central community, Mathes said being asked by today’s cheerleaders to take part in building the float was also an honor.
“I just thought it was awesome that they asked,” Mathes said.
Lifelong friend and fellow cheerleader Teresa (Moore) Painter was also excited to be involved in the project.
“It was so thoughtful of them to think of us,” said Painter, who lives in the South Central community. “This is really special.”
Jennifer (Bailey) Henley was a junior at Lamar High School in 1970.
She was a member of the last graduating class at the school. Following her senior year, David Crockett High School was opened and Lamar only served students through the eighth grade.
Today, cheerleaders for Lamar are students in sixth through eighth grades.
“Cheerleading has evolved a lot since we were doing it,” Henley said. “You can get scholarships for it now. That wasn’t something we could do, although I’m sure a lot of us would have liked to.”
Cheerleading Coach Jill Burgner, who also cheered for Lamar School from 1983 until 1984, said her squad was getting a history lesson while building the float and the girls were also learning a lot about community pride.
“This brings all ages of our community together,” Burgner said. “This is what we are all about.”