• Bill Caine, Woodford Sun Sports Editor

Hemlepp retires from coaching

WCHS CHEER COACHES pose for a photo. From left: Jill Varble, Gina Evans, Heidi Hemlepp and Katherine Hemlepp. (Photo by John Hemlepp)

Woodford County High School cheerleading Coach Heidi Hemlepp, who led the Lady Jackets to a national championship this year, the first of its kind for Woodford County, has retired.

Hemlepp started coaching in 1995 in the recreational league and later became an assistant coach from 2001 to 2004. In 2005, Hemlepp was head coach for a season. After some time off, she joined the coaching staff at Woodford County Middle School from 2008 to 2011 and later became head coach at WCHS from 2016 to 2018.

"Winning the national championship will always be the biggest achievement we've made as a team," said Hemlepp. "What I am most proud of though is watching these young people become leaders and that the kids care about their community."

Coaching a co-ed cheerleading team requires a 100 percent effort for a coach to be successful, said Hemlepp. With family responsibilities and a grandchild, Hemlepp said the time felt right to step away.

"We have built a great foundation for next season here," she said. "We have very talented assistant coaches who have plenty of energy, and they know what it takes to be a championship team. I feel excellent about the success continuing in the future.

Hemlepp's dedication to her team did not go unnoticed. She and her staff worked tirelessly through this past season as the team marched towards nationals. "All of us at Woodford County High School would like to thank Heidi for her dedication to the students and for being a great mentor as well," said WCHS Athletic Director Dennis Johnson."

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