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J.D. Waldrop signs with ETSU

Staff Writer [email protected]

East Tennessee State University has not had a male cheerleader since the 1980s — until J.D. Waldrop from David Crockett High School applied and was given a scholarship.

“I’ve been doing cheer for seven years, Waldrop said. “I’ve been tumbling since I was about four or five.”

Waldrop said that ETSU was his first choice of college and is already looking to the future.

“I could see myself coaching at a gym,” he said. “I want to thank my coach Chelsey Yoakley for making me love cheer again.”

Instructional Assistant Gloria Dixon said that the school is so proud of Waldrop.

“I’m sure if you’ve been to any of the ballgames, you’ve seen all of his flips and all of his crazy stuff,” she said. “And it’s paid off for him because now he is going to do it at ETSU.”

Yoakley feels honored to have been able to coach Waldrop during his career at Boone and is excited to see what is next for him.

“I’ve had the pleasure of coaching J.D. his junior and senior seasons. His junior year he was one of our co-captains and this year, his senior year, he was one of our captains,” she said. “His freshman and sophomore years he made All-American and his senior year, he was one of the varsity cheerleaders that got to go to Honolulu, Hawaii and perform.

“Also, if you guys didn’t know, ETSU hasn’t had a male cheerleader since the 80s, so he’s the first one in a long, long time. I knew as long as he wanted to, he was going to sign somewhere. I didn’t expect ETSU because it they didn’t have males. But he decided he wanted to apply and figure it out. I am really proud of him and can’t wait to watch him at ETSU this year.”

Waldrop said he didn’t get there on his own. In addition to Yoakley, there were others that helped him along his journey.

“I want to thank my mom, my dad, my stepmom and my sister,” he said.