‘Be a good role model’: Vinemont’s Callie Millwood excited for junior year

Vinemont’s Callie Millwood. (Courtesy of Callie Millwood)

VINEMONT, Ala. — Cheer season is here, and Vinemont junior Callie Millwood feels blessed to be cheering alongside a great group of girls once again. Millwood has seen a lot of growth from the younger cheerleaders and she, along with the rest of the upperclassmen, have been working to teach them as much as they can.

“This year’s team is absolutely amazing. We all get along great and are good friends. The freshman this year have caught on to the material very fast. I think this year is going to the best one yet,” Millwood said. “The amount of growth is extreme. They came from middle school, where you’re not as involved, to high school getting involved with everything. We have gone over all offense, defense, all kinds of different chants, and big cheers, as well as some pep rally dances, and some competition preparations.”

She added,

“We also had a camp dance and cheer. We sent videos out in the summer for them to learn the band dances and when we went over everything at practice, everyone knew all the motions and looked very good. They put in just as much effort at practice, at the school, and at VCA, where we learn new stunts and practice tumbling as everyone else does. You can tell everyone really wants to be here.”

Vinemont will have a new cheer coach this season: Mallory Ballard, who was the varsity cheer coach at West Point last year. Callie and the rest of the cheerleaders have already soaked up so much from her since she arrived.

“Ms. Ballard is amazing. She’s very young and pretty much fresh out of high school, so she can demonstrate and show us what we are asked to do. For example, when we are working on getting a stunt down, she can physically get into the stunt with us to show us how to do something. If something just isn’t hitting, she can jump in the stunt to try and see why it’s not working out and correct it,” Millwood said. “She does the same thing with tumbling. She can still tumble very well and can show us the correct way of how to go about things. She’s not only a good cheer coach, but also a good role model for us. She has taught us how to be kind, respectful, and caring. We all love her so much.”

Callie is very grateful to have learned a lot from some amazing upperclassmen and that has helped her become a leader to the younger cheerleaders.

“The upperclassmen have been so good to me from freshman year now to junior year. Berkley Gable, our captain, has been so amazing to me and everyone else on the team. She was co-captain last year and she has helped me be co-captain this year. She really likes cheer and loves helping people,” she said. “It is extremely important to be a good role model for the younger girls, not just for the freshmen and sophomores, but also for the little girls that are in elementary school that are youth cheerleaders right now. They look up to us and want to be like us. I remember being that little and wanting to be a high school cheerleader so bad, and now, I am one. You just need to remember that all eyes are on you everywhere and they want to be like you.”

Callie has set some goals for her and the cheer squad this season and talked about what makes this cheerleading squad so special to watch.

“My personal goal is to get a better standing backhand spring and a round-off backhand spring. The team goals are to place at county, win regionals, and get a bid to state,” she said. “What makes us so special to watch is our teamwork and you can tell that we all have a passion for cheering. We put our heart and soul into cheer.”

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