Milicent Roussell, Belle Chasse Cheer Coach
- High School: John Ehret
- Undergrad: Dillard
- Graduate School: Xavier
- 2017 Large High School Game Day National Champions at NCA High School Nationals
- 2017 UCA Small Varsity Non-Tumbling National Champions
- 2017 UCA Small Varsity Non-Tumbling World Champions
Your team recently took home first place in the "Large High School Game Day" category at nationals. What is it about this year's squad that made this accomplishment possible?
"I have to say it was the determination of my seniors. They were very passionate this year, and they had goals to be better than years prior. We kind of have to out-do ourselves each year, and they were adamant that that happened."
Belle Chasse has a reputation for incorporating Louisiana, specifically a New Orleans style of dance to their routines. Do you think this is what sets your team apart from some of the other out of state teams at national competitions?
"Every year we have a little bit of a different theme. This year we did kind of have a New Orleans style of dance to our routine, but we always have a certain "Wow" factor to our routine that sets us apart from other teams."
What is your favorite part about being a coach?
"I like working with teenagers. I'm also a school counselor, so having a relationship with this generation keeps me young and current. But, this is more than cheerleading. They're learning life lessons each practice, each performance. It's always bigger than cheerleading. It's them learning to be productive good citizens, good adults for the future."
Most difficult part?
"One of the hardest things in terms of cheerleading is keeping them motivated all year long. The girls try out in March and their last competition is at the end of February. Our season never really ends so keeping them motivated, keeping them hungry all year is a challenge. We've been very successful the past few years so it's easy for them to get complacent. We have to aim to beat Belle Chasse each year. If we were the number one team last year, then we have to beat ourselves this year."
As a veteran coach, what advice would you give to a young coach?
"Hang in there. It gets easier once you find what works for your program. Don't compare yourselves to other programs. If you're trying to be a competitive team, always do your research. Figure out which position you want to be in. Find out what works for you and find competitions that suit your needs. I've noticed that as a coach throughout the years, we found where we fit. Also, remember to stand your ground. Make your program bigger than cheerleading. If you build bonds and relationships with your team, they will work for you and with you and it'll become a family."