PREP CHEER: ‘Know your worth and have expectations for how people should treat you’: Good Hope’s Cahaba and Lauren Falls recap last year

Good Hope’s Cahaba Falls (left) and Lauren Falls (right). (Courtesy of Cahaba & Lauren Falls)

GOOD HOPE, Ala. – Good Hope cheerleaders Cahaba (first year) and Lauren Falls (second year) have had a great experience cheering for the Raiders on varsity so far and have learned so much from their fellow cheerleaders.

“I’ve had a great time cheering with these girls because they are very supportive and will help you with anything on and off the mat.” Cahaba said. “I’ve learned that as a team, you have to have a common goal. Perseverance is a key character trait that we all must possess. We are striving to win state this year and I think we could finish in the top three in the nation at UCA nationals. I’ve learned that you should never give up on what you want to accomplish.”

“I’ve grown a lot in the past two years. It’s hard coming into a team as a new member, but I am thankful for each person who has loved, accepted, and encouraged me. I hope to be that example for my future teammates,” Lauren said. “During eighth grade, I was very shy and quiet being in a new place with girls I had never cheered with. Aside from skills, what I’ve learned from these girls is that I have a place on this cheer team and in this world. No matter how different I may be from them, I am perfect in my own way and loved as well. They have taught me that being confident in who I am is very important. What I’ve learned on varsity so far is that consistency is key and hard work pays off. Before doing this, I didn’t know how long it would take to get something perfect and consistent. Thankfully, Mrs. Lowe has a vision and plan for our team. My biggest takeaway is that we are a family, and we are all working towards a common goal. I have learned that I always want to be the best version of myself. Tumbling and skills are important, but being a role model is my ultimate goal.”

They’ve had a blast cheering alongside each other so far and Cahaba has soaked up as much as she can from her older sister.

“Lauren and I are 13 months apart. Even though we are very different people, we feed off of each other’s energy. We want each other to succeed, and each other’s success pushed us to better ourselves. I am so thankful to be a part of this team with her,” Cahaba said. “She has taught me that you will not be perfect and it’s okay to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them and do better the next time. Also, you need to have confidence in yourself to succeed.” Cahaba Falls said.

“It has been honestly amazing. Cahaba and I are very similar in our competitive nature. We are only 13 months apart, and we feed off of each other’s energy,” Lauren said. “I am very protective and proud of her. All I want to do is see her succeed and grow as a cheerleader and a person.”

They’ve been blessed to cheer under some great coaches and are grateful to be cheering with some amazing girls.

“I’ve watched the Good Hope cheerleaders since I moved here in second grade. I’ve always wanted to be a part of the team that Mrs. Lowe coached. I am so thankful to have the opportunity to learn from someone who wants nothing but the best for this team. She spends countless hours planning and preparing for our season. I could not be more thankful for her knowledge and leadership.” Cahaba said. “This Good Hope team takes pride in their routine and performance. I am incredibly thankful to be a part of this team. These girls love me, support me, and would do anything for me. I couldn’t ask for anything better. It’s been amazing cheering with this group of girls because we all genuinely love and support one another. I am very thankful for the upperclassmen because they are great role models to us.”

“Mrs. Lowe believes in our abilities and skills when it’s hard for us to believe in ourselves. She knows our strengths and pushes us to be our absolute best,” Lauren said. “Before varsity, I didn’t have a lot of confidence in myself or my ability. Being with this team has improved my confidence in my stunting and tumbling skills. That confidence has become part of my every day life on and off the mat.”

They’ve both been working hard to get themselves prepared for this upcoming season and they talked about the goals that they have for this year.

“I have worked hard during the year to gain higher level standing and running tumble skills. I am working on consistency of those skills and cleaning them up for the routine,” Cahaba said. “My individual goal is to have my round-off back handspring full on the dead mat. Our team goal for the year is to be the Class 4A state champions.”

“Our stunt group is pushing ourselves every practice to gain higher level stunting skills. I have been personally working on standing and running tumbling to be more competitive and consistent,” Lauren said. “My goals are to gain many new skills and become more confident while I do that. I would also love to gain more confidence as an individual. I believe our team goal is to win state, since we got very close with this goal last year.”

They talked about what will make this cheer squad special to watch and their role models growing up.

“Good Hope varsity cheer has a certain energy when they take the mat. You can tell they are having fun, which is what this sport is truly about,” Cahaba said. “I am so thankful for senior Lexi Doss. As a new member of the varsity cheer team, she immediately made me feel welcomed and a part of this team. She always gives me advice on and off the mat. I really look up to her.”

“I feel like we’ve almost graduated to a new level of cheer. We portray ourselves with more maturity and confidence when we take the mat. The things that make this team special is that we all have different qualities that we bring together to reach the same goal. We have fun because we are all friends. If you spend this much time with a group of people, you should enjoy that time and look forward to it every day,” Lauren said. “When I moved here, our parents would take me to all the Friday night games. I would always watch the cheerleaders. I remember that Paris Stricklin and Allie Sartin stood out to me. Not only were they amazing cheerleaders, but they were so kind to everyone. As a little kid, you remember those things. That’s why I strive to show love and kindness to everyone around me. Moving forward, I want to be that example to the younger generation in the Good Hope community.”

They talked about the best advice that they were ever given and their experience at UCA camp.

“The best advice I’ve ever gotten is that one failure does not define who I am as a person. Always keep trying your best, no matter what,” Cahaba said. “UCA camp is such a great experience. It’s really the first event we get to participate in as a new team. We had a lot of fun and grew closer as a team. We learned how to work together more as a team.” “The best advice anyone has ever given me was, ‘Know your worth and have expectations for how people should treat you’. In the great words of Harry Styles, ‘Treat people with kindness and love everyone'”, Lauren said. “UCA camp was exciting this year. We were able to travel to Destin and compete against some of the best team in the Southeast. I love competing and learning new things. Camp is something I look forward to each year. I have learned to be more consistent and confident with my stunting and tumbling skills. My group is hitting lots of new skills.”

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