KEENE — The Keene State College cheerleading team lost its coach a week and a half before the season started.
Derry native Nicole Dick, a 2010 Keene State graduate, came to the rescue.
The former four-year Keene cheerleader, a two-year assistant coach at the University of New Hampshire, took over as Keene State’s head cheerleading coach earlier this month.
“I got a call from Keene State athletic director John Ratliff, asking me if I was interested coming back and coaching the team,” Dick said Dick. “I was a little apprehensive at first because of the long commute, but I decided to do it.”
She said she sympathized with the cheerleaders.
“I went thought a coaching transition when I was a Keene State, so I knew how they were feeling,” Dick said. “They wanted to go to nationals and be a team, especially the seniors. I wanted to help them and I’m so glad I did it. All day, I think about what we’re going to do at practice.”
Members of the team were relieved and appreciated Dick taking over on such short notice.
“It was very upsetting not knowing if we were going to get another coach,” said Brianna Vacca, a senior from Medway, Mass., “but thankfully we worked through it and they found another coach for us.”
But Dick is making her team work — hard.
“She’s hard on us, but it’s a good thing,” said Hayley Grove, a sophomore from Framingham, Mass. “We need the push.”
Dick has been cheerleading since the age of 6. A four-year member of the PinkertonAcademy cheerleading squad, Dick, who also competed on the Astros track team, served as team captain as a senior and was named the 2006 N.H. Cheerleader of the Year. Pinkerton won six state titles while she was there.