Story and Interview by Lindsey Harper (SUMMIT, Class of ’21)
Photography by JB Brookman- SENIORITY Senior Pictures
MADISON HEITHCOCK, CHEERLEADER. INDEPENDENCE HIGH SCHOOL. CLASS of 2023.
Madison is a feisty, sweet sophomore at Independence High School. She has cheered on the Independence sideline cheer team both freshman and sophomore year and is currently competing in all star cheer at Premier Athletics. There she cheers on a level 3 Senior team named Eclipse. Madison is a determined athlete who uses her intense love for cheer to continue to grow even outside of the gym. Being on the sidelines you’re cheering for your team, but for Madison she’s got a built in best friend on the field cheering for her. She has a twin brother who plays alongside her on the football team. This sweet girl is a social butterfly, an allstar athlete, and scholarly teen, all while loving her extreme idol Lana Del Ray! She might just be a Sophomore, but she’s already taking the world by a storm!
*We interviewed and photographed Madison, at the Football Stadium at Independence High School in Franklin, TN
CLOUT- How long have you been cheering?
Madison- “Well, I started cheering when I was in like 3rd grade, so like 6 or 7 years old. I did rec, like the Spring Hill Raiders, and then I joined my first competition team when I was like 11 or 12. I’ve been cheering ever since!”
CLOUT- Were there any other sports that you tried out before deciding that you wanted to cheer permanently?
Madison- “I tried to go to a volleyball camp! That was just SO not for me!”
CLOUT- What was your first tumbling skill, and what is your most recent?
Madison- “My first tumbling skill that I learned was a back walkover! That’s like the main thing you have to have when you start competing, it’s considered a level one. The most recent thing I’ve learned though is probably a hand to hand tuck, and that took me years to get.”
CLOUT- Do you like tumbling or stunting more, and why?
Madison- “Tumbling for sure- because I don’t fly in competition, I only fly on the sidelines! Whenever I was flying in competition, there was a lot of pressure. Stunting made me very anxious, so I like to tumble more because it’s just me, and it’s easier in my opinion!”
CLOUT- Are you interested in potentially going to college to cheer?
Madison- “Yeah, for sure!”
CLOUT- Have you looked at any schools you’re interested in?
Madison- “I’ve kind of looked at Belmont, and it would just be really cool to cheer at Belmont. I just don’t know, UT is really cool too! I mean who doesn’t want to cheer at UT! I’ve also wanted to go to Arizona. It’s just so far!”
CLOUT- How are sideline and competition different?
Madison- “I feel like for sideline it’s more about just having fun with your team, and just a lot less pressure. It’s still a lot of hard work, but compared to comp there’s a lot more conditioning that goes into it, and we have more practices. We still practice a lot for my school team, but comp is more serious and structured to win. I like cheering for people I know and comp just makes me so nervous!”
CLOUT- How important do you think the aspect of trust is when cheering with your teammates?
Madison- “It’s very important! I’m a flyer, so I really have to trust my stunt group! It’s really dangerous if you don’t, and it’s on the track so it’s hard. Sometimes I get a little nervous, but I’m usually always caught, and I feel safe. When I trust them I just feel better and I can have more fun knowing that I’m not going to fall and get hurt.”
CLOUT- What is it like having a twin that is also very invested in athletics?
Madison- “It’s super fun being a twin, because me and my brother have a lot of the same friends and we all hang out together and we’re always there for each other when the other is upset!”
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