Following the incredible success of season 1, Netflix’s ‘Cheer’ is back again, and this time, it takes a much closer look at Trinity Valley Community College — Navarro’s rivals from just down the road. The TVCC team AKA Cardinals were briefly mentioned in the series debut in 2020. However, season 2 shifts the narrative and highlights precisely how they prepare for the annual cheer championship under the guidance of Head Coach Vontae Johnson. So now, if you wish to know more about the hard-working and passionate mentor of the underdog program, we’ve got the details for you.
Vontae Johnson’s Cheer Journey
Originally from Ocala, Florida, Vontae Johnson didn’t have a comfortable life growing up. His parents split when he was just a child, and their family had no money despite his mother working as hard as she could. There were 12 people in a four-bedroom apartment and most of their meals comprised of Ramen noodles, so Vonte knew from an early age that he’d have to stay focused to create different opportunities for himself. Thus, Vontae took advantage of his agility, stamina, and competitiveness to start playing sports, which eventually led him to the world of cheer.
“I think we all have that thought when you’re growing up in the hood, that you need to be good at something to get out of the situation that you’re handed,” he said. “Better be good at something, or you’ll be stuck here, so sports was the easiest way out for us.” Therefore, not only did he play basketball and football, but to compensate for his smaller physique, Vontae also consistently practiced to be better than most.
From there, his celebratory handsprings or flips after each victory/point caught the eye of his high school cheer coach, who recruited him to be on the squad. That’s when Vontae saw that cheerleading is much more than what happens on the sidelines, driving him to learn every possible move and ultimately pursue further education on a cheer scholarship instead of a football one.
Vontae had fallen in love with the sport by that point and hence chose to attend TVCC as a Cardinal Cheer Team member before moving on to earn a spot on Team USA. Vontae’s undeniable skills were what helped him land his first coaching position — Head Coach at his alma mater — in 2017. The fact that he’s closer to his cheerleaders in age and can actually stunt with them to teach is what makes him remarkable.
Where is Vontae Johnson Now?
Vontae Johnson continues to serve as the Head Coach of the cheer program at Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Texas. Yet, the only difference now is that he shares this title with Khris Franklin, who was his coach back in the day. Khris was the one that’d given Vontae the job once he’d decided to leave the institution after six years in 2017. However, Khris soon returned as Assistant Coach and gradually worked his way up to Co-Head in 2021.
From what we can tell, both Vontae and Khris seem content with this arrangement right now as it allows them to focus on different aspects and improve the squad’s overall performance. Apart from that, since Vontae’s social media suggests that he won not only the NCA Cheer Championship with TVCC in the 2020-2021 season but also The Cheerleading Worlds with the CA Wildcats, it appears as if he’s still an active cheerleader as well.
Despite the fact that Vontae always has to be out and about to ensure that his program or skills don’t falter, the former NFL coach turned cheer coach genuinely seems to enjoy being a part of the industry, meaning that he has no plans of stepping away from it anytime soon. Vontae yearns to be the best, and he might just be able to achieve that goal soon.
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