The Knox Central High School cheer team recently traveled to Orlando, Florida to take place in the UCA Cheerleading National Championship. Out of 48 teams vying for a championship, the Panthers finished 17th.
In a post on Facebook, head coach Joy Mckeehan said, “Our cheerleaders put on the most amazing performance in the semi-finals. We had a few bumps in [preliminary events], but made it through to the semi-finals.”
“The feeling of making it to semis was one of the best feelings I have ever had, but the feeling of watching their semi-final performance was even better. Our girls cheered their hearts out, all 28 of them. When they came off the floor they knew it. Watching the video on the TV after our performance was the best feeling I have had all year. All 28 girls knew they gave it their all and did their best. They even said, ‘no matter what we left it out there’. They felt that was their best performance to date.”
“That’s what this is about, coming together as a team — do your best for you and your teammates. We were in one of the toughest competitions there yesterday and we just missed going to semis by 0.4 points.”
“This squad made history for Knox County and we couldn’t be prouder of these girls. We have 28 girls, with 13 upperclassmen and 15 freshman. Each girl brings something special to our team. We have had happy times, and times of frustration and tears, injuries and sickness — but we have pushed through.”
“Our Knox Central administration, along with our Athletic Director and board have supported us in this new adventure. We want to express our sincerest thank you to each of them. Our community has helped to sponsor us as well and we say thank you. Our entire community, friends, family, and sister teams have shown us support and cheered us on as well. For every comment, text, call or word of encouragement, we say thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
To my fellow coaches at other schools, each of you have been wonderful to welcome me to this world and have been wonderful resources, friends, and supporters — thank you for everything.”
“To our sweet friends at Elite — Brittany and Paula, we can’t say thank you enough for your hours of endless help to our team. We have loved having you along on our trip, along with the help and support of Crystal and Madison.There are not enough words to say thanks to all of you.
“To my beloved Kayla: I would be here for days just to show my appreciation as thanks for everything that you have done. You have been everything to me. My heart is forever thankful to you and all your help and support -- this team could not survive without you. Your beloved girls have been such a joy for our squad and we have loved every minute of it. Your girls know this routine and cheers just like our cheerleaders do. This is why our cheerleaders do this -- for little girls like yours and many others.”
“To our parents, we can’t thank you enough for all your support and help with this new adventure. Thank you for allowing us to coach your child. To my beloved family: you have stuck by me in this endeavor when many times I couldn’t be with you, or even had to miss things. I am forever thankful for you for your support and understanding.”
“Last, and most important of all, my beloved beautiful girls -- my cheerleaders. It is you that must be thanked. You got us here, you are beyond special. Like I said on the last day, we left it on the mat, and what a way to leave it. You were proud, and I’m beyond proud. I can’t say it enough -- you all are amazing.”
“It is not about always winning but the life lessons we learn along the way. This is only one chapter in your life. You all were amazing and have wonderful memories to remember. The hardest speech I have ever given was after the semi-finalists were announced and I met with my girls afterwards. I saw some tears, but I held it in for my team. Little did they know I walked away to only cry by myself for my girls.”
“But tears quickly became happy moments as we moved on. Our girls were amazing and still have more work to do.”