By Emme Ganster
Have you ever had someone in your life that encouraged you and made you feel like the most important person in the world? This past fall, a senior from The King’s Academy varsity cheer squad made me feel that way. When I was younger, I dreamed about cheering one day, but last spring during middle school cheerleading tryouts I got nervous and did not try out.
Unfortunately, when my friends go out to cheer this year, I can only cheer them on from the bleachers. At the homecoming game this past October, Julia Burtt must have noticed my desire to cheer and turned that night into a magical dream.
When my family got out of the car, I gasped because I saw a squiggly line of people that wrapped around the football stadium waiting to get in. Luckily, the thoughts of the game and my friends passed the time of waiting in that ridiculously long line. Soon, I was sprinting toward the stadium. I gazed at the towering field lights as if they were Fourth of July fireworks. I raced to greet my friends up in the bleachers, knowing exactly what I was going to do next. I waved excitedly to Julia.
As the first quarter began, I sat on the highest bleachers with a couple of my friends so we could get the best view of the game. Quickly, I lost my interest in the game and jumped down the stairs two at a time until I reached the ground. I couldn’t help myself! I had to go watch and try to mimic the cheerleaders’ moves. Up, down, sideways and diagonal went my arms as I tried to copy the cheers. Pompoms rustled and mixed with the girl’s enthusiastic voices. Before I knew it, Julia came up to the railing and grabbed me.
She asked cheerfully, “Hey, Emme! Do you want to come cheer with me?”
Wide-eyed, I responded, “I don’t think I can do it.”
Encouraging me, she said, “Oh, come on! I know you can do it!”
Nervously, I replied, “OK. I guess I’ll try.”
Excitedly and anxiously, I walked behind her to the sidelines thinking about how I didn’t know most of the varsity cheers. As the varsity girls greeted me with big smiles, I stood next to Julia. She coached me through the complex and tricky motions. We finally started the cheer. I messed up a couple of times, but it was so much fun that I couldn’t stop smiling.
I know I will never forget that magical, fascinating night. Julia always greets me cheerfully and is always joyful, but she made me feel especially blessed and loved that homecoming night with her encouraging words and her invitation to cheer. In the future, I know that even more than cheering, I would like to be an inspiration like Julia was to me.