New Coach and Cheerleaders Announced for 2013-2014

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Lipscomb Athletics has announced a new coach as well as a 17-member cheerleading squad for the 2013-14 basketball season.

Amy Benefield, coach for the past seven years, stepped down this season to care for her new infant child. She has turned the reins over to Shawn Despot, a former four-year Bison cheerleader who works in Lipscomb Admissions.

“I can’t put into words Amy’s value to this team the past seven years,” said Philip Hutcheson, director of athletics. “She has been a coach, a mother, a nurse, a friend and a stable leader for us.”

Despot was a Lipscomb cheerleader for the 2005-2009 basketball seasons. Along with her collegiate cheerleading experience, she was a member of the UCA (Universal Cheerleaders Association) staff for four years. A graduate of Lipscomb University, Despot resides in Nashville with husband, Mitchell. She works as an admissions recruiter for the university.

“I live for school spirit and bleed purple and gold for Lipscomb, so I look forward to being part of the key that makes it all happen,” she said.

“Shawn provides a tremendous amount of experience and enthusiasm to this position, and we are very pleased she has joined our team,” Hutcheson said. “She has an unmatched enthusiasm that is perfect for her role.”

The 2013-14 squad consists of eight returning faces and nine new ones.

The squad is anchored by three seniors: Cece Ramsey (Canton, Ohio), Olivia Stastny (Brentwood, Tenn.) and Keiana Hastings (Columbia, Tenn.).

The returners also include juniors Macy Ball (Portland, Tenn.), Anthony Strode (Nashville, Tenn.), Anna Claire Temple (Brentwood, Tenn.) and Lauren Wilcher (McMinnville, Tenn.); and sophomores Megan Brinkmann (Maryville, Tenn.) and Amelia Curtis (Franklin, Tenn.).

Nine new members complete the squad. Two new additions to the sophomore class are Emily Whitworth (Spartanburg, S.C.) and Taryn Hibbitt (Nashville, Tenn.). They join a strong freshman class including Ashley Cummings (Portland, Tenn.), Juliana Hays (Franklin, Tenn.), McKenzie Holmes (Hendersonville, Tenn.), Erin King (Joelton, Tenn.), Logan Mierop (White House, Tenn.) and Holly Wright (Murfreesboro, Tenn.).