Two Troup Tigers sign to cheer at LaGrange College

Published 9:00 am Friday, May 12, 2023

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Two Troup cheerleaders Catelyn Godfrey and Zarie Smith will not have to pack their bags and travel far for a chance to cheer in college; both ladies announced their decision to cheer at LaGrange College on Thursday.

The pair of Tigers come from different cheerleading backgrounds. Godfrey is the cheer lifer, having dreamed of being a cheerleader in college since she first picked up a pair of pom poms in the third grade. For Smith, it was a love found late, but a love at first sight. She comes from a dance background but decided to try out for the cheer team her sophomore year and never looked back.

“My freshman year I did dance, and my schedule was so packed,” Smith said. “I stopped doing dance and decided to try cheerleading. I was very excited for the change, and it’s been a wonderful three years of cheering.”

The two shared more than a few smiles and laughs as they sat behind the same table at their singing day in the Troup High media center. It will not be the last time these two share a laugh as they don the red and black of the Panthers.

“I’m so excited we are getting this opportunity together,” Smith said. “It is crazy to think about how quickly this came together.”

Godfrey comes from a competitive cheerleading background but has participated in her fair share of spirit cheerleading during her life and is looking forward to taking part in spirit cheering at the next level.

“I have known practically my entire life that I wanted to cheer in college,” Godfrey said. “In fact, the main reason that I got into cheering in the first place was because I dreamed of being a college cheerleader (laughs).”

For a long time, Godfrey was unsure if this opportunity would come. With the prospect of cheering in college beginning to fade, Godfrey never gave up hope and her prayers were answered when “LaGrange College came and snatched me up.”

Getting to cheer in college is the main draw, but Godfrey and Smith are only taking this opportunity because it makes sense for them academically as well. Godfrey will be joining the prestigious LaGrange College nursing program as she has aspired to be a nurse for some time. Smith is aiming to major in early childhood education. She loves working with kids and hopes to continue as an elementary school teacher in a community that is so dear to her once she graduates college.

For Troup cheerleading coach Amelia Keys, she is not ready to let go of these two quite yet, saying that “we still have a couple more weeks with them before they go to LaGrange College.” And she stressed that the two will always be Tigers and welcome in the halls of Troup High. 

These two Tigers have been a part of some special cheerleading squads at Troup. They will carry all the experiences of the time spent in blue and gold forward to their future endeavors.

“This team has been my family,” Godfrey said. “They have been my safe space, my place to vent, and my place to hang out with my favorite people. It is like a second family for me.”