Callaway’s Gates heading to Point
Published 9:58 pm Monday, March 26, 2018
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
When the Callaway Cavaliers lost in the quarterfinals of the state football playoffs last season, Aliyah Gates thought she was done as a cheerleader.
“When my last game ended, I was sad, and I thought that it would never happen again,” Gates said.
Turns outs, Gates’ time as a cheerleader isn’t over.
Gates is set to join the cheerleading squad at Point University, and she’ll be on the sidelines for the games this fall.
Gates celebrated that decision during a signing-day ceremony last week, with her friends, teammates, coaches and family members there to support her.
Among her biggest supporters is Callaway coach Tricia Turner, who was glad to offer her recommendation when Point contacted her.
“When Point reached out to me asking for a recommendation on Aliyah’s behalf, I was happy to respond to them with lots of positive things about how she works with her teammates, and how everyone trusted her to be behind them,” Turner said. “It was really easy to convince her new coach that she would be a great fit for her team.”
Turner said Gates took the initiative and made it happen with Point.
“All that was sent was an email asking if anyone was interested,” Turner said. “And a lot of people don’t respond for fear of rejection, or not being accepted. All it took was her saying I was interested, and immediately the ball was rolling.”
All of Gates’ cheerleading teammates were on hand for the signing ceremony, and Turner said it was a group effort.
“As a team, we do help each other, and we do encourage each other,” Turner said. “I think you can attribute some of her success to the team. Most of the praise goes to Aliyah and the effort she has put in to make this signing possible.”
Gates said she appreciates the help of her teammates.
“Throughout the three years that I cheered with some of y’all, I’ve learned stuff, and how to do different things, and you’ve helped me develop,” Gates said. “I think y’all for supporting me.”
Turner said it was important for the other cheerleaders to be on hand to see that it’s possible to achieve a goal.
“She’s got seniors in here with here, but the younger girls are just as talented, and they’ll have the same opportunity,” Turner said. “I hope now they see that they can do it, too. It just takes courage to try”
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