Maddie Wright has been cheering for 14 years, and, on April 13, she made the commitment to cheer for four more when she signed her National Letter of Intent to be part of Erskine College’s Flying Fleet.
“Senior year has been hard for me,” Wright, who has been cheering since she was 3 years old, said. “I’ve had a lot of illness and a lot of physical setbacks, but, looking back at it and seeing that I’m here signing to cheer in college – which is never something I thought I would be able to do – it is like a big triumph. It’s a victory. Regardless of those setbacks, I’m here and doing what I love. It was all worth it.”
Wright, who says that cheer is her world, was prepared to let her career end when she walks across the stage on Dee Harris field, in May 2022, and focus solely on academics as she pursues her goal of becoming an oncologist. But that all changed when Erskine College recruited her.
“They recruited me for cheer not too long ago, and so I went for a visit because I was intrigued,” Wright said and further stated that her visit to Due West, South Carolina, changed her plans for the next four years. “The minute I stepped on campus, it felt like home, it felt right, it felt like I am supposed to be here.”
Wright’s mother, Lorie, said knowing her daughter loves the campus and the small town, whose population is less than 2,000, makes her happy.
“We love the campus. She was super thrilled and that makes us feel better about her going so far away,” Lorie Wright said, adding that she and Wright’s father, Bryan, will be making the five-hour trip to attend as many football and basketball games as possible over the next four years. “Getting this scholarship, and the academic scholarship to back it up, has made it all worth it.”
For Maddie Wright, leaving behind the squad she has grown up with is bittersweet.
“I love the cheer squad I’m leaving; they’re the best,” Maddie Wright said. “And I want them to know that even though we’ve been through some tough times, I can still see the passion in their eyes. I hope that they don’t let setbacks keep them from doing what they love for the rest of their high school careers.”
She was quick to express her excitement about meeting her new teammates and starting the next chapter of her cheer-journey saying she is eager to get the 2022-23 cheer season started.
“Cheer means everything to me. It is a passion of mine. It is something that I can go to when I’m not feeling the best or feeling sad or even feeling great. I can go to cheer and feel happy and accomplished. It is the world to me,” she explained, “I am excited to start this journey, find myself, discover myself."
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