Students of Wakefield: Volume IV

Abigail Mosher, Co-Editor-in-Chief

“I’m originally from Kentucky [where] my parents still reside. I moved here, into a host family, without my parents to pursue competitive cheerleading for Cheer Extreme SSX, which is located in Garner. I’ve lived here since freshman year. I compete all over the country: Texas, California, Florida and New York.

“[Living with a host family] is different. There are different rules. The lady I live with now is more laid back. [My host sister’s name is] Kaylen Steichen. She goes to Wakefield and is also a cheerleader. We get along, but we fight like sisters. We love each other. She’s a lot like me and we like a lot of the same things.

“It took a lot of convincing [for my parents to let me come here]. I’ve been cheering since I was two years old. I cheered at Kentucky Elite, that’s where I started out. Then I went to this place, called United Talent, that merged into Spirit Athletics. It’s like college, in a way, because they scouted me. [Cheerleading] is what I always wanted to do. I told my mom I really wanted to [cheer in North Carolina], when I was 13, and she was like, “not this year –you’re a little too young– maybe next year.” So, I trained everyday in the gym and better myself as much as I could; I got really good. So, we came [to North Carolina] and I did tryouts to see if I could make the team, and I made it. So, they put me up for a host family. The Steichen’s reached out, so I stayed the night there to see if I fit their family, and I did. My mom was like, “I really like them; I feel comfortable with you moving in with them.” My mom goes to all of my competitions; everywhere I go, she goes.

“My mom’s a nurse and my dad owns his own construction company. My mom could have moved here because she can get a nursing position anywhere. All of [my dad’s] clientele is based on who he knows and who his clients recommend, so he can’t just start over. I have three older brothers and two older sisters. I’m the youngest, [and] the second youngest is 32; we have a little bit of an age gap. I don’t go back [to Kentucky] for my birthday, but I go for major holidays and over summer a lot. We don’t really get breaks in cheer. Everybody has to be there, all the time, so I’m not allowed to go home [very much].

“On a regular week, we practice three times a week for two hours. On competition weeks, I’m in the gym every day for four hours. [Our team] does pretty well. There’s a competition in Florida, called the Cheerleading Worlds. It’s the biggest competition ever, kind of like winning the Olympics, if you will. We’ve been back-to-back champions for that for the last two years. We get broadcasted on ESPN and compete in the ESPN Worldwide Sports Center. I’ve met people from Japan, Canada, Denmark– there are a lot of people from Denmark– and Australia.”