University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff spirit team coach Karen Blunt loves signing local talent. This signing period, she welcomed four Pine Bluff High seniors as new members of the spirit team.
Out of the four athletes, two will be members of the cheer team and two will be members of the pom squad.
The incoming cheer members who signed on Friday afternoon at the Pine Bluff High Student Center are Cambree Coleman and senior class valedictorian Ma'Kyah Goodlow.
For Coleman, being a part of the UAPB spirit team has been a goal that she's chased for as long as she can remember.
"Being able to be a part of The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff's spirit team is an amazing opportunity for me," Coleman said. "Becoming a part of this wonderful organization is a lifelong dream of mine. It has always been my goal to cheer in college so I will do my very best to be an asset to this organization. I've been watching the spirit team for five years, and I'm excited about working with such a unique group and enhancing my skills."
Goodlow will proudly represent her class as the valedictorian before moving on to be a UAPB cheerleader. Goodlow expressed that her time at Pine Bluff as a cheerleader has not only enhanced her athletic skills, but it has also made her a well-rounded person.
"The opportunity to be a part of the UAPB Spirit Team means so much to me," Goodlow said. "It's one of my goals that's now accomplished. Being a cheerleader has not only helped me grow as a person, but it has also helped me develop many new skills. I have been watching the spirit team since I was about 3 or 4 years old, and to know that some little girl may be watching me is an amazing feeling. I am most excited about the new experiences, and memories that I'm going to create and experience. Might I add the uniforms are super cute."
The two newly-signed members to the UAPB pom squad are Chastite' Allen and Omaria Harris.
Allen is relishing in the fact that she'll be able to continue her passion while getting a college education from an institution that she's been familiar for quite a while.
"It's a great honor to sign to The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff's spirit squad," she said. "To me, this is the opportunity to engage in what I love to do while also obtaining higher education. As a young girl, I was always on UAPB's campus with (my) uncle attending various functions. Since then, I have been watching the spirit squad. Becoming a part of the squad, I'm most excited about doing what I love around people who share the same passion."
Blunt is entering her 30th season as the head coach of the UAPB spirit squad. According to Blunt, keeping these athletes in Pine Bluff to be a part of her team means the world to her.
"This means so much to me," Blunt said. "I'm a Pine Bluffian, and I'm a Pine Bluff woman. I've always wanted Pine Bluff girls to attend our University. We're at our highest peak as a program. These young ladies will bring so much energy, enthusiasm, skills, and families. They have siblings right behind them that are already in my ear. It sounds good to go place somewhere else, but I can't help you at Jackson State, Conway, or Fayetteville, but I can help you here. These girls won't just be a number or a statistic."
UAPB Director of Student Recruitment Chris E. Robinson commends Blunt for what she has done for the UAPB spirit team over the last 30 years.
"When I went to school and played sports at UAPB Ms. Blunt was over the cheer team," Robinson said. "They continue to take it to a new level. One thing it does is it sets the tone not only in our conference but throughout the country. She's doing a great job, she's built a strong foundation, and it just gets stronger every year."