Lady Colts earn leadership award, have 20 athletes named All-America
By Andy Collier
Sports Editor, The Bolivar Bullet
The Bayou Academy High School and Junior High Cheer programs thrived at the Universal Cheerleaders Association Mississippi State University Cheer Clinic at Starkvile on June 5-8.
Bayou Academy earned the Leadership Award at the camp, while the high school and junior high teams had 20 cheerleaders earn UCA All-American honors. Bayou was one of 26 schools at the clinic and the leadership award was voted on by the schools.
Bayou’s high school team had 11 make Varsity All-American, while the junior high team had all nine of its cheerleaders make Junior Varsity All-American.
On the varsity level, the Lady Colts that made All-American were seniors Gracie Kovac, Mary Ella Chicorelli, Bylar Malloy, Suzi Paige Vaughan, Kaitlyn Smither, Taylor McCain, Brynli Dotty, James Sanders, Maggie Marble-Barrett, Gracie Day Bishop and Carrie Maggio. Malloy and Sanders are co-captains.
The junior varsity cheerleaders that were named JV All-Americans were freshmen Emma Quinton, Janna Shipp, Suzannah Hood, Romie Caston, Emma Kate Herzog, Ava Ware, Caroline Davis, Kaylee Ray and Addie Jane Reed. Reed made All-American last year which makes her the only two-time All-American on the JV team.
The high school team competed in the medium varsity division. Malloy won the jump off for the fifth year in a row. Malloy won the jump off her last two years in junior varsity cheer and has won it three consecutive years on the varsity level. Bayou finished second in sideline, second in camp routine and fourth in cheer.
Amy Maggio and Wendy Norwood has Co-Head Coaches of the Bayou Varsity Cheer squad, while Casey Andrews is the Head Coach of the Junior Varsity squad.
Maggio was thrilled for her seniors.
“We had 11 seniors tryout for All American, and they all made its,” said Coach Maggio. “We were the only school that had all participants make it. Our senior girls were also given invitations to try out to be UCA instructors next summer after graduation. We got superior evaluations each night. We had a great time and are looking forward to the MAIS (Midsouth Association of Independent Schools) competition in September.”
Over the last two years, the Lady Colts have made a huge impact on the overall athletics program at Bayou. They’ve won the 5A State Cheer Championship in tumbling in 2021 and 22. The success has enabled the cheer program to earn points for the school in the 5A All-Sports Standings in each of the last two years. The Lady Colts made a huge impact in the All-Sports Standings in 2022 which helped Bayou earn the 5A All-Sports Trophy.
The performance at the cheer clinic had Malloy fired up about the school year.
“Our team did really well and has a lot of room to grow,” said Malloy,. “I think we have a lot of potential, and I can’t wait to see what we accomplish this year. It was also exciting to have all 11 seniors make All-American and our team received the camp leadership award which is voted on by the other schools at camp. This is actually the third time we have gotten this award which is pretty cool.”
In junior varsity action, Bayou competed in the large division. The Lady Colts took first in sideline, first in overall game day, second in cheer and second in camp routine.
Andrews, who will be entering her fifth year as Bayou Head JV Coach, also coached the vast majority of the high school seniors for two years in junior varsity when she first started at the school.
Andrews was proud of everyone’s performance.
“This group of seniors are the first group I had for two years, so watching them grow has been an amazing experience,” said Andrews. “The freshmen I have this year, I taught most of them in third grade. I taught most of the rest of the squad for three years with STEM, so I’m really emotionally invested in this group. I love being apart of their lives outside of the classroom.”
Bayou’s Varsity All-Americans are slated to cheer at the Pear Harbor Memorial Parade on Dec. 4-9. Chicorelli will also cheer at the US Army Bowl in Dallas, Texas on Dec. 16 as she was named All-American at the Nfinity College Combine in Franklin, Tenn. earlier this month. Bayou’s Junior Varsity All-Americans will perform in the Walt Disney World Thanksgiving Parade.