PREP SPORTS: ‘It’s like one big family’: Vinemont’s Anna Kline looks back on Eagle years

Vinemont’s Anna Kline. (Courtesy of Anna Kline)

VINEMONT, Ala. – In this interview, I talked to Vinemont’s Anna Kline about some of her favorite memories during her time playing sports for the Eagles.

“Softball helped me and my sister have a closer bond. I’ve played basketball my whole life and made many friends thanks to the game. Some of my most cherished memories were getting to start and play with my sister on her senior night when I was a freshman, and her showing up seven months pregnant to walk me out for my senior night, along with my father. My mother couldn’t make it, because she was hospitalized with MDS,” Kline said. “Despite the circumstances, she still found a way to make me feel special by sending me flowers. One of my favorite cheer memories was when we got first place at Regionals my junior/senior year and getting to attend VCA for stunting and tumbling with the most amazing girls and coaches.”

Anna got to play alongside some great teammates and her sister and learned a lot from her coaches.

“It was one of the best experiences of my life. Playing sports helped shape me into the person I am today. Playing alongside my sister and my friends pushed me to be better and do better in all aspects of life,” Kline said. “Every team I was a part of at Vinemont was like a family to me in a way. No matter what kind of day I had, my team always lifted me up and helped me focus on what was good, opposed to the bad. Having my sister on the same teams as me held me accountable and helped me become more dedicated to my team.”

She added,

“My coaches were always very encouraging and cared about me and my well-being beyond our school and sports. They always made me feel loved and cared for. Ms. Ballard and Mrs. Bridges were my cheer coaches while I was at Vinemont, and I am so thankful for everything they both taught me. I had never cheered before, but Mrs. Bridges taught and pushed me to be the best I could possibly be. I wouldn’t have gotten my scholarship to Wallace without their guidance. I didn’t get to spend much time with Ms. Ballard, but I am grateful for the year I did. She encouraged me to try out for Wallace State’s cheer team and helped me practice in seventh period, as well as allowing me to attend VCA with this year’s squad to practice and perfect my skills. Both of them are very well-rounded women and showed me the kind of woman I strive to become.”

Anna talked about her favorite high school memory, what made Vinemont a special place to go to, and what she will remember and miss the most.

“My favorite high school memory was getting to cheer at football games. The cheer team made signs for the football games, and it was a great way to bond with the team and be creative. I loved getting to do the halftime performances and dancing to band songs throughout the game,” she said. “Vinemont is one of the smaller county schools, but it’s like one big family. We all knew each other. I was new to Vinemont my freshman year and it was the most welcoming school, including the staff and the student body. There was never a time where I felt like I didn’t belong. Vinemont gets overlooked and looked down upon by a lot of people, but it’s really a special place. I loved my time at Vinemont and will cherish the memories I made for the rest of my life.”

She added,

“I will always remember the life-long friendships I have made. Since I graduated early, I will miss getting to spend my last year at Vinemont with the class that I spent years with. Even though I didn’t get to graduate with my class, I got to graduate with my brother, which means more to me.”

She gave some advice to the upcoming freshmen that will be attending high school in August and talked about a very special role model in her life, plus the best advice that someone ever gave her.

“My advice would be that it goes by quickly, so make the most out of every day. Soak it up and don’t be afraid to be you. Prioritize your schoolwork; it is the foundation for your future,” she said. “My sister was my role model throughout my life. She taught me how to be the best player and team player I can be. She always pushed me to do better in everything I did. She is an amazing teammate and sister. She always gave me advice to just be myself and not to care what other people think. I couldn’t have made it through high school if it wasn’t for her constant support and love. The best advice that someone ever gave me was that it’s God’s timing, not mine, to be patient, and to lean on my faith during the hard times.”

Getting the scholarship to go cheer at Wallace was a life changing moment for Anna and she loved her visit there.

“Getting the scholarship to go cheer at Wallace was life changing. I get to go to college without any student debt or loans,” she said. “It’s close to home and since I graduated a year early, I wasn’t ready to move off yet. I knew I wanted to try out for the cheer team as soon as I found out that I would be graduating a year early and that my athletic career would be cut short. The coach, Kevin Yates, was kind enough to give me that opportunity and the scholarship to further my education.”

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