PREP CHEER: ‘We are more like sisters now’: Hanceville’s Josie Radcliff ready for cheer season

Hanceville’s Josie Radcliff. (Courtesy of Josie Radcliff)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. — Hanceville junior varsity cheerleader Josie Radcliff has had a great experience during her time on the varsity Bulldogs cheer squad so far and feels blessed that she gets to cheer alongside some great teammates.

“I’ve had a great experience each year. Our team has always been small, but we are always very close and very supportive of each other. We are continuously working hard to get better each year. All of these girls are wonderful people that I am proud to get to cheer with. I feel like we have become more than just teammates; we are more like sisters now. We always boost each other up and motivate one another to do our best,” Radcliff said. “I have learned that working as a team is very important and it takes every person doing their part to make a successful team. I have also learned to have patience and understanding, and to not let the tough days get you down.”

Josie loves cheering for some amazing coaches and has learned so much from them. She has seen her performance improve a pretty good bit over the past couple of seasons.

“I love my coaches so much. I am so glad I have them as my role models. They have taught us to work hard, be determined, and to always support each other,” Radcliff said. “I think I’ve improved a good bit over the past couple of years. Despite having a setback this past year because of a back injury, I’m getting better. My tumbling and jumps are improving, as well as my overall technique. I would like to give a big thanks to CGCA’s Ashley Wilbanks and Kristy Patterson for always pushing us to give our all in everything we do.”

Josie talked about what they worked on during the summer and the goals for this upcoming season.

“We have spent time getting ready for the upcoming football season and also getting prepared for cheer camp at the University of Alabama that we just got back from,” she said. “Some individual goals is to always be a good role model for the younger girls, and I would also like to get my back tuck. Some team goals we have are to get to state again, do well there, and qualify for Nationals.”

The cheer team had an amazing performance and experience during their time at the University of Alabama and Josie feels that will help them out even more going into this upcoming season. She thinks that it will be a very special season for the Lady Bulldogs.

“We did very good there. We got first in Game Day, Camp Dance, and in Crowd Leading. We received multiple spirit sticks and all gold and blue ribbons. Myself and six other girls received All-American awards and two others got the Pin It Forward award. Overall, it was a great bonding experience and a successful camp. We learned a lot of new material and stunts that we will be using for the upcoming season. Learning all of this will help us at games and we can use some in our competition routines as well,” she said. “We are a very small team, but I think that’s definitely part of what makes us special. Since we are so small, each one of us has to give 100% all of the time and be willing to do whatever the team needs. We may be small, but we utilize each person and give our all in every performance.”

Josie looks up to an Auburn cheerleader and a quote that has stuck with her came from Taylor Swift.

“I have enjoyed watching the Auburn cheerleaders, specifically Kacie Griffin, because she is a phenomenal cheerleader and exemplifies everything that a great cheerleader should be,” she said. “There is a quote by Taylor Swift that I love: ‘Giving up doesn’t always mean you’re weak; sometimes you’re just strong enough to let go’”.

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