Somehow, everything is better once Ms. B gets involved. For 30 years, she has been the face of cheering at both Thomas Dale and Matoaca, but, more importantly, she is an advocate for kids who are attempting to make it in the world by doing things the right way.
Rising senior Katie Kohman has been part of Nita Burchett’s cheering squad for four years. Katie speaks in amazement about her coach. “She is just so super-organized and it seems to me that her entire life revolves around doing what is best for us,” Katie said. Burchett retired as a classroom teacher in June 2009, but Katie adds, “It seems like she is at the school all the time.” She will be spending this week at NC State with her squad as it embarks on its annual summer camp week.
Burchett has the reputation of being a demanding coach who expects nothing but perfection from her athletes. She is known for being unyielding when it comes to team rules.
“We get frustrated with her from time to time, but we know everything she does is geared toward what is best for each of us and for the team,” Katie said. “I see how other coaches simply go through the motions, making me very thankful that Ms. B is my coach.”
The Matoaca coach has also given middle school cheering squads the opportunity to compete on the big stage by hosting their competition each of the last 10 years or so. The competition has grown to be one of the highlights of the middle school athletic calendar.
A former track coach, Burchett remains committed to that sport, as well. Her organizational skills make her invaluable to meet directors. Whether she is involved as a clerk of course or awards custodian, you can bet that the job will be done right the first time.
“I don’t know what we would ever do without her,” said Matoaca High School Athletic Booster board member Debbie Wells. “She kept our concession stand up and running this spring.” In these days of athletic budget cuts, Burchett’s fundraising abilities are incredibly important to Matoaca’s student-athletes.
Harkening back to the days when teachers and coaches were defined by their profession, Burchett has dedicated her life to the advancement of her sport and to the development of young athletes. Her efforts earn her recognition this week as one of the ultimate good gals in sport.