Thomas Sumter Academy senior Mackenzie Hyder has been cheering since she was about five years old. Now she has the opportunity to keep that cheer career alive, as she has signed to cheer at Anderson University.
"Cheer has been a really big part …
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"Cheer has been a really big part of my life for basically as long as I can remember," said Hyder. "Just being able to continue that into college is just exciting, because I don't know what I would do if I had to stop cheering now just because I've done it my whole life."
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Hyder didn't get to sign at school. Instead, she put a table up in her front yard for a signing ceremony. She had coaches come talk and her friends all watched from their cars.
"Being able to do that signing in my front yard was really cool," said Hyder. "It was super important to me because they took the time out of their day to come all the way out to my house just to watch me sign. It made me feel that even through all of this stuff with the virus, there's still going to be some sort of good out of it."
Cheering wasn't always in the college plan for Hyder. She originally wanted to focus on her major, nursing, but Anderson provided the perfect place to add cheering to the fold. Hyder was concerned in the balance between cheer and school, but Anderson's cheer team mainly cheers for the basketball team, so she'd have most of the fall semester to settle in before cheering would take up more of her time.
"A few years ago, I questioned if I even wanted to cheer in college, because I want to be a nurse and I'm dead set on nursing school. Once I toured Anderson, I fell completely in love with the school," said Hyder. "I wasn't sure that I'd be able to manage nursing and cheer at the same time, but Anderson only has a basketball team that I'm going to cheer at, so I feel like it's not going to be as stressful."
Hyder is looking forward to getting to Anderson University and meeting all of her future classmates and cheer teammates, some of which she's already had the chance to interact with online.
"I'm just really excited to have those two separate groups of friends that I can bounce back and forth with," said Hyder.
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