Student Athlete of the Week: Great Bridge High School cheer squad

“Practice like a champion” – that’s the slogan for the Great Bridge High School cheerleading team.

If you look up the word ‘endurance’ and ‘dedication’ in the dictionary, chances are the Great Bridge Wildcats cheering squad would be part of those definitions.

“These 21 young ladies spend more time practicing their sport than any other sport at the school.”

“We have two practices a week for three hours, two for two hours, and then Saturday is a three hour practice.”

“We worked so hard, every single day, two or three hours. We even have had practices in the mornings.”

Mckinna Taylor is one of three seniors on the team. She is also one of the captains.

She’s been cheering since the age of 10.

How does she find time to do her homework after practicing 18 hours a week?

“Go home at 9, take a shower, do homework, sleep, wake up, do more homework, eat, sleep, cheer, compete, homework.”

That’s part of the dedication for the sport she loves. And if you think this isn’t a sport – don’t run into these ladies in a back alley.

Mckinna says, “I get pretty defensive. People don’t realize how much time and effort I put in.”

“They don’t see us at practice – they don’t see behind the scenes.”

“I like to see you try – people don’t understand that – you have to throw it – for someone to come, they would find it difficult. Before people should say that, they should try cheering.”

On their shirts there is a saying: “Practice like a champion”.

“There is a quote – championships are won in practice – you pick up the trophy at competition.”

Coach says this is one of her most talented teams she has had in her seven years. Would it be a disappointment if they didn’t make it to states?

“Do your best – leave it on the floor and I am happy,” coach says.

“Honestly, it won’t be disappointing. I know all the girls will go out there and give 110 percent and leave our best out on the floor – we are going to bring it.”

The road to a state championship starts Saturday at Oscar Smith High School.