PREP CHEER: ‘You have a second family’: West Point’s Emma Kimbril talks upcoming cheer season

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West Point’s Emma Kimbril. (Emma Kimbril)

WEST POINT, Ala. — West Point junior Emma Kimbril will be going into her third year on the varsity cheerleading squad and her first year as co-captain. She’s had a blast up on varsity so far and she has learned so much from that experience so far. She’s had a lot of fun cheering with some great girls and has learned a couple of things from them.

“It has been a lot of fun. You make so many memories with the people that you are around, because with being on varsity cheer, you are around your team a lot. It gives you so many new friendships and it’s like you have a second family. It also teaches you hard work and to never give up. I have learned the importance of leadership, teamwork, and hard work,” Kimbril said. “It has been so much fun. I couldn’t ask for better teammates. They have taught me so much and they have helped me through so much. I have learned how to be a better captain and leader.”

Emma has taken away some things from head coach Kristy McCrickard and from last year’s seniors as well.

“She is an amazing coach and role model. She has taught me leadership, and about being confident in what I do as a cheerleader,” Kimbril said. “They were amazing leaders who were always there to help you in any situation. Allison Milligan was an amazing captain that gave me some advice for being co-captain this year. She said that you can’t make every individual happy, but you have to do what is best for the team. Kelsey Speegle was the co-captain last year and she was always trying to find new stunts and dances for us to do. Meadow Copper and Kadence Cagle were the ones that always tried to make you laugh. They were also always there whenever you were in need. Morgan Nail was always very caring.”

Emma is so honored to be named co-captain and she has seen so much improvement from the team.

“It’s an honor to be varsity co-captain. It’s an amazing experience. At first, I felt like I had a lot to prove because I am a junior, but it all just kind of fell in place. I am very proud of my team and how hard they are working,” she said. “During my freshman year, we were a pretty solid team, but during my sophomore year, we got a new coach, so it was like a learning year. But this year, I feel that we are going to be more competitive than ever before. We have an amazing coach who makes great decisions. One of those decisions was moving into a new cheer gym. This year, we moved to Cullman Gymnastics and Cheer Academy, and we have improved so much in such little time. I feel like this is the year for West Point Cheer.”

Emma talked about the goals for this upcoming season, what will make this cheer squad special to watch, a cheerleader that she looks up to, and the best advice that she was ever given.

“I know that my individual goals are to win county and finish in the top five at state. My team goal is to make it to Nationals in Orlando, Florida,” she said. “What will make us special to watch is the fact that we all have a tight bond, and we are having fun while we’re on the floor. I look up to Gillian Rupert. She cheered in junior college at Navarro, and she now cheers at Weber State in Utah. I just love the way she carries herself. She always has such a positive attitude, and she doesn’t only post the good; she also posts the bad, so she is real. The best advice that I was ever given is, you create your own opportunities.”

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