Candy Berry: A Coaching Legend

LB-0102 (1).jpg

Candy Berry is a one-of-a-kind coach who has dedicated her life to the growth and evolution of high school cheerleading.

Berry began her cheerleading journey as a cheerleader for Russell High School in Flatwoods, Kentucky. When she first put on a uniform, there wasn't much to cheerleading other than sideline chants and oversized pom poms.

2017-18 GCHS cheerleading squad showing off their skills at a home football game.

After getting married and starting a family, Berry realized her love for cheerleading was unquenchable. Her passion for the sport and watching young girls succeed made her realize that coaching would be a natural fit for the next step in her journey.

Berry coached at her alma mater for five years before taking the head coaching position at Greenup County High School in 1976, where she still coaches the Musketeers today.

Berry brought her squad from the small town of Greenup, Kentucky, to compete at the first-ever National High School Cheerleading Championship in 1980 at Sea World in Orlando, Florida. The Musketeers have taken the mat at the cheerleading national championship every year since.

GCHS at the first-ever National High School Cheerleading Championship in 1980 in Orlando

In her early years as coach, Berry's mission was to help take cheerleading to the next level. She loved sports like ice skating and gymnastics and wanted to bring that athleticism to cheerleading.

"After hours of watching videos I began coming up with skills I felt cheerleaders could use to capture the crowd's attention," explained Berry. "By doing so we got the fans involved and supporting the team. It was an outlet for our females to gain recognition while being a support of athletics."

GCHS won their first national title just one year later.

"The early years there were no size divisions or coed or all girl," explained Berry. "We all competed against each other."

Berry has now led GCHS to 16 national championship titles including 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1987, 1992, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2010, 2011, 2015 and 2017.

Candy Berry celebrating GCHS's 16th national championship win in 2017. Photo by Kayla Rucker

Even though winning is always a goal for each team, Candy Berry's dream for her squad has nothing to do with her closet filled with white satin jackets. Her main goal is to always build a strong, self-sufficient, classy group of young women on and off the mat.

"At GCHS, we represent our school district," explained Berry. "We show to others that with hard work success can come."

We may not always be the best at the beginning of the year, but we will finish as a team who hasn't quit and has given our all!
Candy and her assistant coaches at a Greenup County High School football game.

Year after year, team after team, Berry continues to keep the Greenup County cheerleading traditions alive. She said her love for her athletes mixed with the pride and support the community gives is what keeps her coming back each season.

"My favorite part is the relationships I build with the girls and their families," Berry said. "I love watching a stunt sequence come together because it takes teamwork. Learning teamwork will make for strong adult workers later in life."

When asked how she has achieved such tremendous success in the cheerleading world, Berry remained humble.

I'm just a lady from a small town doing something she believes in and loves.
Candy surrounded by the 2017-18 GCHS varsity cheerleading squad 
Photo by assistant coach Allison Dawne Rowe

What can you expect from Greenup County this season? Read 16 Titles And Counting: Greenup County High School!

Venue Insider: The MAJORS 2018

Screen Shot 2018-01-17 at 10.26.36 AM.png

Heading to The MAJORS 2018? Get ready, because you're visiting the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana.

Must-Watch Event: NCA High School Nationals


Top school teams from across the U.S. will head to Dallas, Texas, to compete for a national championship title January 27-28 at NCA High School Nationals 2018.

Big Event Weekend Coming Soon!


Another big weekend in cheerleading and dance is coming your way soon! You can watch three all star and school cheer events all in one weekend. We've got all the details and how you can watch the action LIVE on Varsity TV.

Venue Insider: NCA High School Nationals 2018

Screen Shot 2018-01-17 at 11.55.21 AM.png

The 2018 NCA High School Nationals is quickly approaching! The weekend's festivities will take place in The Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas. 

Next Weekend Is Going To Be MAJOR!


Want to watch the top Senior Level 5 teams from the most prestigious programs in the country? Then you don't want to miss the The MAJORS 2018 on Friday, January 26, in Indianapolis on Varsity TV. 

Meet The 2018 U.S. National Cheer Teams


Some of the most talented cheerleaders from across the United States traveled to Orlando, Florida to try out for the opportunity to represent the USA this April at the ICU World Championship. There were 115 cheerleaders who attended this year's selection process.

Memphis Rocked The House In Hip Hop Finals


The University of Memphis rocked the house today in division IA hip hop with a routine full of attitude! The Tigers want the title and they made that statement clear in finals at the 2018 UDA College National Championship this weekend in Orlando, Florida.

FSU Showcased Their Seminole Pride In Jazz Finals

IMG_5468 copy.jpg

It's been an incredible of dance at the 2018 UCA & UDA College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship in Orlando, Florida, this weekend. Every finalist delivered breath-taking emotion that brought teams to the eyes of fans watching.

Who To Watch In DIA Finals At UCA College Nationals!


To college cheer fans it feels like Christmas morning, because it's finally time for one of the biggest nights of the year: the division IA finals at UCA & UDA Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship in Orlando, Florida!

Shelton State Earns 11th Championship Title!


Shelton State earned their 11th national championship title at 2018 UCA & UDA College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship in Orlando, Florida, over the weekend.