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Spirited cheer dad cant hide his Tiger pride
1. Dad Cheer Coach pic1
Cheer dad Isaac Barnes leads his 7-year-old daughter Emilys cheer squad dressed in his Dawson the Tiger costume. - photo by Michele Hester Dawson County News

Isaac Barnes showed up at his daughter's first cheer practice to help his wife teach the young cheerleaders a thing or two about football.

"I was supposed to come in to help with the timing for the right let them know when to cheer for offense or defense," he said.

A few weeks later, he found himself on the sidelines in a Tiger costume and cheering on the team with the girls.

"I came home from work one day and she said, ‘Look what you're wearing to the game,'" he said.

Admittedly, Barnes still gets the jitters every time he walks out on the field.

"Every time I have one of the dads come up to me and tell me how brave I am," he said. "At first, I didn't know what to think about it, but the girls love it and that's what matters."

In her first year as a cheerleading coach, wife Patty Barnes said having Dawson the Tiger out on the field week after week has done more than energized the Dawson County Parks and Recreation 7 and under Junior Tiger cheerleaders.

"We've got the football parents involved, as well as the cheer parents involved and that was one of our main goals," she said. "All the kids love it, and the parents love it, too. It's united the cheer parents and the football parents together and that's awesome."

Other cheer squads and football teams have also taken notice.

"Everybody wants to have pictures made with the tiger, even the other cheer squads," Isaac Barnes said. "They'll come over and get hugs and get pictures and high fives."

Patty Barnes said she couldn't be more proud of her husband.

"I'm his biggest fan. I love it," she said. "Not all men, or dads, would get out in a tiger suit and do cartwheels and dances on the football field, but mine does, and I'm so proud."

After the season is over, the squad has already made plans to compete in two regional competitions.

"We decided to enter because our little girls have really come a long way," Patty Barnes said.

And of course, Dawson the Tiger will be front and center rallying the girls.