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Sudweeks hired as Hobbs cheer coach

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Being the parent of three children can keep you hopping, like having a job from dawn to dusk.

For Cassey Sudweeks, though, motherhood might actually feel more like down time compared to the busy schedule of a cheer coach. Your team is cheering for sports from August until March, but that is followed by a long offseason to-do list.

Team members turn in their uniforms, an end-of-season banquet is held. Then come tryouts in May, summer practices in June, cheerleading camp in July. Before you know it, August is here again.

“And it’s hit the ground running with games,” Sudweeks said. “We’re cheering for volleyball, soccer, football.”

Sudweeks wouldn’t want it any other way. Even with the hectic life of trying to raise three children while keeping up with the year-round duties of a cheer coach, Sudweeks doesn’t feel weighed down, she likes being busy.

So, when the Hobbs cheerleading head-coaching position came open, Sudweeks didn’t flinch at the chance of taking on the responsibility. She applied and was hired to replace Brittanee McCleery.

“Oh my gosh, I’m so excited,” Sudweeks said.

“She’s got high energy,” Hobbs High athletic director Brenda Wilson said. “And she’s got such a love and passion for working with kids, and for cheerleading; she was really just a good fit for us. Her goals align with ours and Hobbs athletics. Brittanee’s hard to replace, but Cassey will do a great job at Hobbs.”

Sudweeks cheered for Lovington High School and graduated from there in 2007. She soon became a family woman, getting married and having three children since 2010.

Sudweeks’ head-coaching career began in 2015 when she took the reins as the head cheer coach of Taylor Middle School in Lovington, a job she held until 2019. Sudweeks stepped down because she was pregnant with her youngest daughter.

Between that and the onslaught of COVID, Sudweeks’ hiatus lasted until late winter of 2021, when sports returned to New Mexico. Sudweeks took on the position of varsity assistant coach for the Lovington High cheerleading team, which won a third consecutive state championship that year.

Sudweeks will now leave the Lovington school district for the first time in her life and step into Hobbs.

“I definitely have coached for lots of years,” Sudweeks said, “and when the Hobbs opportunity presented itself, it was definitely something I didn’t want to pass up.”

“We conducted interviews,” Wilson said. “She has some experience from Lovington, she has experience in the club cheer world, and she’ll be working around the computer lab at the high school, so she’ll be on campus during the day. I don’t think we’ll miss a beat; we’ll have a really good competitive cheer group.”

Though Sudweeks is pumped about starting her new adventure, which will begin with practices this Monday, she will certainly miss Lovington.

“Being a product of Lovington High, and being able to coach in Lovington for the years I was able will always be considered one of my greatest accomplishments,” Sudweeks said. “I had amazing coaches as a Wildcat athlete, and was mentored by Lovington’s best – Krystie Arreola, Mary McCraw and Alicia Marquez – when I was the head coach at Taylor Middle School and assistant coach at Lovington High. Their overflow of advice and support of my vision for my teams each year played a great deal into the success of my program.

“Often,” Sudweeks continued, “you’ll hear Wildcats say, ‘Once a Wildcat always a Wildcat’, and while Lovington will always hold a special place in my heart, I’m looking forward to becoming an Eagle. When I was offered the position, Brittanee McCleery praised the camaraderie between all Hobbs coaches, the constant helping hands of the parents involved in the program, so I knew I’d be in good hands. I’ve only held the official title of Hobbs head cheer coach for a few weeks, and that’s already proved to be true.”

Coaching in general is also something that drew Sudweeks back.

“Honestly, coaching has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember,” she said. “The goal was always to be a cheer coach at some point; I had great cheer coaching growing up and that kind of inspired me, I guess. I had loved cheerleading my whole life, so coaching was always something I wanted to do. It was hard to step away; I missed it.”

Hobbs is coming off winning a third state 5A co-ed championship. “So coming in new to the city of Hobbs, and the Hobbs school district, the pressure is on,” Sudweeks said, “as I know the athletes are eager to bring home their fourth title this coming March.”

But, half of the 2023 state championship team is gone because 12 of the 24 team members graduated, with a new coaching staff on its way in.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do this season to continue building the legacy that was created before us,” Sudweeks said. “However, the determination, teamwork and work ethic of these athletes that was instilled prior to our arrival gives me a sense of peace and confidence that these athletes have exactly what it takes to do it again.”

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