Watauga High senior Amanda Fox signed her National Letter of Intent last Tuesday, December 20 in the WHS Media Center to join the cheerleading squad at Brevard College next fall.
Brevard College is a Division II school and a member of the South Atlantic Conference. And for Fox, all that
time and effort hasn't gone to waste. She's been rewarded for an art that's completely taken for granted.
"It's very demanding," said Fox with a huge grin on her face. "I have a sprained ankle right now. People have hurt their backs, we've taken some bad falls. It's hard, that's for sure. But it's something I really enjoy doing. For us, it's a way of supporting our teams and having fun."
Fox will be a tumbler at Brevard. And she will be a newcomer to a cheerleading squad that's losing a number of seniors to graduation. Fox had her eye on attending Brevard next year, so she asked her coaches, Jennifer Parsons and Lauren Salisbury, if they could speak with the Brevard coach, Reva Shane Jarrett, and set up a tryout. Jarrett is no stranger to the High Country. She was a three-time All-America cheerleader at Appalachian State University.
"My coaches really helped me out," Fox said. "The (Jarrett) called me and we set up a tryout. But I was real nervous the whole time i was in there with her trying out. I couldn't eat a thing. But it was a great opportunity for me. I was scared, but I was real anxious, too. I"m glad it all worked out."
Fox was involved in gymnastics for five years before she got into cheerleading through a friend her freshman year at WHS. And despite the bumps and bruises, the aches and pains, she's grown to love it. And she enjoys the challenges.
"Gymnastics really helped me in cheerleading," she said. "It's taught me balance and how to make my body flexable. Some of the cheers that involved being hoisted in the air can be scary at first. I was scared the first couple of times. But you get use to it. You also know how to develop confidence in your teammates. It's takes a lot of time to perfect a cheer. But when it's properly done, it's very satisfying."
And Fox is well aware how unappreciated cheerleaders are at times. Afterall, they're overshadowed by the teams their cheering for. But depsite all that, the cheerleaders, no matter what the situation may be, are always there like a dependable friend.
"I know we get taken for granted at times," Fox said. "But it doesn't matter. We're doing our part supporting our teams, and it's a lot of fun. I love the thrill of it."