After more than two years of waiting, Encourage Season 2 is finally here. It’s also two years ago Encourage fans watched Navarro pour blood, sweat and tears into taking the Daytona crown home.
The new series of Encourage follows once again Navarro’s preparations for Daytona 2020 and 2021, after 2020 was unfortunately canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But once again, they face stiff competition from their rivals Trinity Valley Community College, which is only 57 miles away. The new series sheds just as much light on TVCC’s journey as having a new coach on the pitch, Vontae Johnson.
Newsweek has everything you need to know about Johnson and TVCC.
Who is Vontae Johnson?
Vontae Johnson is the head coach of the Trinity Valley Community College Cheerleading Squad, The Cardinals.
Johnson has been the head coach for the past three years. The reason Johnson may seem super passionate about his team is that he was once a cheerleader at TVCC.
Johnson used to play college football, but realized he could go much further with cheers. During his time as cheerleader in Trinity Valley, his coach was Kris Franklin, who now serves as an assistant coach.
In addition to being a TVCC cheerleader, Johnson has also competed on legendary teams such as Team USA Coed and Cheer Athletics Claw6.
With Team USA Coed, his winning titles include Silver International Cheer Union (ICU) World Champions in 2015 and four back-to-back ICU World Champions in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, detailing The Cheer Buzz.
At the International All-Star Federation Cheerleading Worlds in 2018, he won with the Cheer Athletics Claw6.
You can follow Johnson on Instagram now @vontae_johnson, where he shares several photos and videos of his team and excerpts from life outside of cheerleading.
Warning: This article contains spoilers about the end of Cheer season 2
Like Navarro’s coach Monica Aldama, Johnson is super competitive and has been able to turn around TVCC’s legacy after the team suffered several defeats in recent years. But after a whole lot of hard work, commitment and incredible new talent, TVCC won at Daytona 2021. They last had their hands on the trophy in 2017.
Talking to Newsweek about the victory, Johnson shared: “It was a hard-fought victory. It has been great, of course, to have the opportunity for the kids to become champions.”
Reflecting on keeping the trophy and following the tradition of the winning team running into the sea, Johnson said: “It’s something you build up to all year, you talk about with the team, to be able to have that opportunity to be able to run.in the water and just swim away all the just hard times.All the hard times and hard fought fights throughout the year and also the big times they had to be able to push and work together.I thought, it was a great experience to be able to just run in the water and be champions. “
Throughout the 1990s, Trinity Valley dominated Daytona and won several national championships in a row, but after Monica Aldama joined Navarro and began leading the team from 1995 onwards as their coach, things began to change, with Navarro winning their first national team ever. . championship in 2000. They have been pretty much unstoppable ever since.
Back then Encourage Season 2 began filming, Navarro had won 14 national championships and TVCC 11, making them the biggest rivals in the competition.
Along the way in TVCC and Navarro’s rivalry, said director Greg Whiteley Newsweek: “I’ve always found that rivalry was very good-natured. I never got the feeling that it was diving into an area that was inappropriate or unusually violent, but it was intense. I mean, there are two schools that would very much like to to win, and because of the quality of the two programs, it’s usually the other team that gets in the way of you reaching your goals, and I think it’s just, over the years, it’s there, that rivalry was started.
“The interesting thing is, Trinity Valley has been the crown jewel of all the cheerleaders for years and years. And Monica, who’s a brand new freshman coach, I’m sure she looked down the road and just thought, ‘Oh, my God, how could I ever get to a place where I could even compete with a team like Trinity Valley, they’re a juggernaut? ‘ And Monica is Monica, she just went to work. And in 10 to 15 years, she turned the tide, and she’s the big man now. “
Now that Encourage Season 2 is out, Johnson shared an update on what TVCC is doing now, and it may not come as a huge surprise to the audience that they are working hard to secure their second win in a row at Daytona 2022 in April.
Johnson shared: “We are definitely getting ready for our competition coming up here in April. That is the next thing for us. We are just getting ready for our mat trials and hopefully getting them in the same position to be able to become champions again. “
On the question of whether TVCC would return to Encourage Season 3, if given the green light by Netflix, Johnson proudly said, “We’re happy for season two. We want the world to be able to see us for who we are, and you know it’s going to catch Trini Valley, and we do not know what the future holds for season three, so we’ll see. “
Encourage Season 2 is streaming on Netflix now.