‘I want to be a friend and mentor’: Good Hope’s Kailey White enjoying junior season

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Good Hope’s Kailey White. (Courtesy of Kailey White)

GOOD HOPE, Ala. — Another year of cheer season is here, and Good Hope junior Kailey White is excited to get things going again alongside an amazing group of girls. She learned so much from last year’s seniors that she knows will help her this year.

“This year has been a different experience because several girls who were amazing leaders graduated. So, us underclassmen have learned to take on more of a leadership role and it’s been a great learning experience. Overall, it’s been a really fun year and we’re excited to start competing,” White said. “Last year’s seniors were an amazing group of girls. We knew how to have fun, but also knew how to work hard. They were also good role models to me outside of cheer in my day-to-day life.”

Despite having a young group this year, there will be several upperclassmen returning as well and Kailey can’t wait to help the younger girls reach their goals.

“Since we have several younger girls now, having so many cheerleaders returning is such a blessing because we can all help our younger girls improve and reach their goals. I also think that since we do have so much experience on our team, it’s easier for the younger girls to transition from middle school to high school cheerleading, instead of it just being a brand-new team. We also know how to work hard and treat our team as a family, so that influences our younger girls to do the same.”

Kailey has taken away so much from head coach Brandy Lowe, who has been her coach for five years now.

“I have learned countless things from her, cheer-related and just life-related things. At practice, she lets us know our goals and does everything she can to get us to reach them. She wants us to not only be good at cheerleading, but also respectful, and to enjoy what we do. If we’re having a tough practice, she will talk to us and encourage us that we can keep going,” she said. “At the same time, if we’re having a tough day, then we know we can come talk to her about anything and everything, no matter the circumstances. She’s taught me how to not let anything get in the way of reaching my goals, and she has also helped prepare me for life after high school too.”

Kailey is one of the leaders on this team and she has taught the younger cheerleaders a lot.

“It’s important being a leader because I know that when I started, I was so nervous and needed one of the girls, who were older and knew what they were doing, to help me and encourage me. I strive to be a leader like that, one who is kind, encouraging, and willing to fill whatever spot is needed to benefit our team. The younger girls also know that I want to be a friend and mentor to each and every one of them,” she said. “Our team worked on a lot of basics over the summer. We wanted to make sure that we were using the right techniques and making them a habit so we could work up from there. We’re working every day on our routine for competition and having the time of our lives every Friday night on the sideline. I can fly, back spot, and sometimes base, so I give the younger girls every tip and trick I know to help them improve.”

Kailey worked on a lot during the summer and talked about the upcoming goals for her and the cheerleading squad.

“Since I’m able to move to different positions, this summer, I learned every role in a stunt group, and I am now working on my tumbling so that I can help improve our routine in any way I’m asked to,” she said. “My personal goals are to really improve my tumbling and to be an encourager on my team. Our team goals are to win county, state, and to get to compete at nationals this year.”

Kailey also talked about what will make this squad so special to watch this year and how she first got into cheerleading.

“If you know anything about cheerleading, you know that we like our routines to be clean and to look effortless and that is exactly how our routine is made to look this year. We also have many different ways to get the crowd involved and do stunts that we haven’t done in the past years, so we’re excited to get to perform it,” she said. “Growing up, my maw-maw was a cheer coach at Good Hope, so I was at several cheer practices as a little girl. I thought the world of the girls on that team, and I knew that I would be just like them some day. Now, I still think of how it inspired me to watch them cheer, and I hope that I can do the same for the younger girls watching me.”

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