Hanna Tolbert Burnette cheering at JCJC.

Former Brave and Bobcat takes over at East Miss.

In her first year as the cheerleading coach at East Mississippi Community College, South Jones product Hanna Burnette is looking to continue the growth of the program at EMCC.

Hanna Tolbert Burnette

“I am honored to have received this amazing opportunity to become part of the EMCC family,” Burnette said. “I plan on continuing to grow this cheer program while helping these young adults achieve success.”

Hired by East Mississippi this summer, Burnette is currently finishing up her bachelor’s degree in kinesiology with a minor in business from Mississippi State University. She cheered for the Bulldogs this past year while making the Dean’s List.

The Laurel native previously was a cheerleader and diamond girl at Jones County Junior College. The former Hanna Tolbert is married to Garrette Burnette of Florence, who also cheered at MSU and JCJC.

This past January in Orlando, Fla., EMCC scored a school-best, fourth-place team finish in the Division II Small Coed finals of the 2017 Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA) College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship.

Brooke Stringer of West Jones is one of the 18 members of Burnette’s first cheer squad at EMCC.

While looking to grow their success and become a fixture among the nation’s best in the cheerleading ranks, the Lions football team has achieved much success under the direction of head coach Buddy Stevens over the past nine years.

During his tenure in Scooba, Stevens has guided the Lions to three national titles in the past six seasons while posting an overall record of 87-12. The Lions have also won five MACJC/Region 23 titles, eight MACJC division titles and five NJCAA postseason bowl wins.

With Burnette’s cheerleading squad keeping the fan base engaged, the No. 3-ranked Lions are set to kick off the 2017 campaign on Aug. 31 when they host JCJC at 7 p.m. at Sullivan-Windham Field.

— David Rosinski, EMCC SID, contributed