Marianna Middle School begins its second season under the direction of long-time cheerleading guru April Alday. Alday comes from a family of cheerleaders and one might say it was in her genes to guide future generations to an all-star cheer status. April, her sister Natacha Phillips, and brother Ben Odom are former cheerleaders with both high school and college experience. Natacha, Ben, and April all cheered at Chipola College with Ben continuing his cheering at FSU for three years. Alday coached previously at Marianna High School for eight years before taking a break from coaching. She became the cheer coach/sponsor for MMS beginning with the 2016-17 school year.
As MMS cheer coach, Alday opted to get the best available training for her squad as she could. She arranged for the MMS squad to attend UCA Cheer Camp at FSU this past week.
Two MMS cheerleaders were named All-Americans at the camp. Juliette Alday and Mattie Rooks went above and beyond to claim that honor.
Juliette is the daughter of Joseph and April Alday and has one older brother, Beau. She is the granddaughter of Butch and Bunny Odom and Jimmy and Maria Alday. Her great grandparents are Albert and Elizabeth Alday, Santigo and Rita Utley, Gayle Griggs, Howard and Eunice Odom. Mattie is the daughter of Clay and Amy Rooks, and has two siblings, Maggie Rooks and Clayte Rooks. Mattie is the granddaughter of Buddy and Ellie Rooks, Frances and the late J. O. English.