Three Cheers For New Coach

The fate of the California Baptist University cheer team was unknown until Oct. 26, when new coach, Tami Fleming, was hired to replace Coach Wendy Rice. 

Fleming and Rice met 11 years ago while coaching for Glendora High School. Since they met their relationship grew and they became close friends.

“Wendy was my best friend and I feel that God brought me here to help fulfill her vision and plans for the cheer program,” Fleming said. “I also want to help the girls who are mourning a loss.”

The team agrees that there could be no one better to take Rice’s place.

“She was Wendy’s best friend so we all have the same motivation,” competitive team cheerleader, Jazmyne Martin-McDonald said.

Fleming has 14 years of coaching experience and owns her own cheer program. The West Coast All Stars that has 200 athletes on their 11 competitive teams.

She has numerous credentials and certifications in cheer such as United States All Star Federation credentials in stunts, tossing and tumbling. She is also safety certified by the American Association of Cheer leading Coaches and Administration.

Fleming has many goals for the cheer program. She would like to see the cheer program represent the school to the best of their abilities, but her dreams do not finish there.

“I would like to see the program grow and make a name for itself within the cheer industry,” Fleming said.

So far the team is making positive steps toward this goal. The team has already qualified for Nationals which take place in Daytona Beach, Fla.

They attended cheer camp in July at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where they received a bronze bid for Nationals.

The team traveled to Daytona Beach last year where they placed in the top 10. They hope to place in the finals again this year.

There are 40 girls involved with the cheer program at CBU which make up two separate teams. One team is specifically for games and events on campus while the other team travels and competes in competitions.

“One team is there to support and represent our school at CBU while the other is there to represent off campus,” Fleming said.

This is how Rice wanted the program. She started making two separate teams last year but it was not until this year that there was a clear division between the two.

Despite the team’s challenges, they are succeeding and adjusting to their new coach.

“I love Coach Tami, she’s amazing,” Martin-McDonald said. “She’s works us really hard and she’s really committed to training, discipline and cleanliness. I come home feeling accomplished and exhausted, but I love it.”

“Wendy worked hard to make this a great program and we will continue to work hard to make this a great program,” Fleming said.

The team has faced lots of challenges over the past year, but could not be in better hands than Coach Fleming.

Her love for the sport and for her best friend is exactly what the program needs to continue to grow.