By AMBER TYLER, Vaughtsviews.com Contributor
As a cheerleader, the word “leadership” takes on a whole new meaning. Not only do you have to show professionalism on the sidelines, but you have to take on the role as someone whom so many aspire to be and look up to.
The spotlight is back on the UK Cheerleaders after taking home their 22nd national championship on Sunday in Orlando, FL.
Not only did the Cats score 97.8 out of a possible 100 points, but also pulled off a back-to-back championship for the first time since 2010. The BBN could not be more proud of this team and its accomplishments. I was very pleased to see all of the support and well deserved credit that was given to the team before and after the win.
From the first win in 1985 to the latest win this year in 2017, one thing remains the same – teamwork. No one knows this better than three-time national champion, Whitney Agee. Whitney is a senior this year at the University of Kentucky and describes this year’s team as “by far the most cohesive and loving team I have ever been on. The amount of trust we have in each other and the support we gave to one another is what made it so special.”
Whitney also stated that “It was truly amazing to be able to experience a team that went through challenges and came out not only stronger, but closer together.”
Most of us can only dream about winning a national championship our senior year, and experiencing how that would feel. Whitney describes it as “a dream come true.” The UK senior stated that “being able to bring back (the title) was the best feeling.”
One might wonder what the best memory would be that Whitney would take home after this weekend. Her response – “Walking out on the floor hand in hand with my best friend (Megan Glisson) for the fourth year in a row, hitting the routine we had worked so hard on, and immediately tackling her after it was over! Knowing that we had just laid it all out on the floor and did all that we could do was amazing…so naturally she had to be tackled.”
Most happy endings don’t come without a few challenges. Whitney believed the biggest challenge they had last weekend was “actually just waiting for it to be time for us to compete and knowing that no matter what, we do what we’ve practiced. Sometimes when you get out in front of a crowd, you start to do more than you usually would and start changing things. No more, no less – this is one of the sayings we always use and it’s so true! By the time we got to our ending pyramid we had to remember to keep calm like we always had, and do exactly what we always do.”
After the competition was over, the waiting began and, according to Whitney, this was the worst part.
“After we got done competing we had awhile before they announced awards. Sitting there waiting was honestly dreadful. It was so nerve wracking, but after they announced it, it was the best feeling of relief and such a great feeling to make our alumni proud of us,” she said.
The three-time champion also said that now that the competition is over, she plans to splurge on all of the Sweet Tea she can get her hands on!
Congratulations to Whitney, and to all of the Kentucky cheerleaders on a job well done. One championship down … next up, one in April. We’re lookin’ at you Kentucky Basketball.