Decatur High School, GA

Varsity cheerleading team secures new coach

September 6, 2016

Coach Ashaki
Meet coach Ashaki Stinson, the new coach of the varsity cheerleading team. The most challenging part about to coaching to her is pushing the girls too much. “I know I’m a very demanding person,” Stinson said, “and I expect a lot so I will push a lot.” Photo by Taylor Stephenson

This school year, the varsity cheerleading squad met a new face. Ashaki Stinson became the new head coach of the team.

Back in March, JV coach Saadia Foy asked if Stinson would like the position as varsity cheer coach. She “happily accepted.”

Stinson is a mother of four who enjoyed watching her children play sports. Now that her kids have left the house, her friends and family recognized that coaching the team would be perfect for her.

“I definitely have a village around me that is very supportive,” she said. “They thought that [coaching] would be something that I’m good at. Since I am an empty-nester, I still like to be involved with children and students so I said, ‘Why not? Let’s do it.’”

For returning varsity cheerleader senior Morgan Wells, Stinson creates a sense of structure for the team.

“[Without coach Stinson], the team would be chaotic,” Wells said. “Everybody would probably argue because we all think we know what’s best. We need that higher power to make the final decision.”

First year varsity member Jordan White agrees.

“I wouldn’t say that we’re moving as one unit, but it’s pretty close,” White said. “There’s no drama. It’s chill. We’re not pushing any buttons.”

Stinson also believes that the girls should focus immensely on discipline.

“Be disciplined to your craft,” she said. “Be disciplined to your sportsmanship. Be disciplined to your academics.”

White knows that Stinson cares about the performance and presentation of the team.

“She just wants us to move in sync and look our best and be our best,” White said.

To her, though, academics should play the biggest role.

“I am a firm believer in student-athlete,” Stinson said. “School grades are most important, especially in [the girls’] high school careers.”

Even though this is her first year, Stinson already sees a future with the cheer team.

“I’m just getting started,” she said. “There are a lot of things that I would love to implement here at Decatur High as far as our cheer squads. I’m looking forward to a very long future.”

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