Senior cheerleader Miranda Mitchell is this week's Hornet of the Week. "Miranda is a first year senior who brings optimism, drive, determination, and precision to the team," said LC head coach Amanda Dean. "She is a model cheerleader in both skills and attitude as well as a valued member of the student body at Lynchburg College."
Q. You are a first year cheerleader and a senior. Why did you make the decision to try out in your final year of college?
Before coming to Lynchburg College, cheerleading was big part of my life. I had cheered since the age of three all the way up to my senior year. When I got to college I decided that I wanted to focus more on community involvement rather than athletics. With this decision, while I have had a great experience, something was always missing. I had missed having cheerleading in my life. It taught me a lot about myself and it gave me structure. This past year after having multiple conversations about missing cheerleading with my Little in my sorority and my teammate, Taylor Govan, she reminded me that if I missed something so much and I was still passionate about it, why should I miss out on what might be my last chance to cheer. So when it was announced that the cheerleading team got a new coach and she was having tryouts I definitely became interested especially when I learned it was Amanda Dean. I immediately knew I was going to tryout. I had cheered in the same district she was coaching all through high school. She had a very positive reputation as a coach and her trophies showed her passion and dedication. I wanted the opportunity to cheer for her and I am so glad that I can now say I have.
I really enjoy the bonds I have made with all of the girls and our coach in such a short time frame. They welcomed me with open arms and helped me get caught up with learning the cheers and how everything was supposed to go. After taking roughly three years off, it was definitely a challenge at first to get back into the swing of this sport. I couldn't have done that without my teammates and amazing coach. When attempting new skills, it is very reassuring to have your coach and teammates tell you they know you can do it and when you need that extra push.
The decision to become an education major was an easy one. It first became a dream of mine to be a teacher when I was in the second grade. I had the most kind and patient teacher. She was the true definition of what an educator should be. My passion grew even more when I got to high school. My role model was actually my Math teacher, who was also my cheerleading coach, and an alum of Lynchburg College, Stephanie Ragland. She embodied all of the characteristics what I inspired to be for my students; compassionate, positive, and adapting to who her students and cheerleaders worked.
As for my plans after graduation, I am still in midst of applying for jobs and seeing where that takes me. For now I am taking in this last semester of college and looking forward to where my next journey will be.
Q. In your mind, what does it mean to be a student-athlete and how has Lynchburg College helped you?
To me, being a student-athlete is an honor. It means we are students first and that academics is our focus. But it also means that we have the privilege to be a part of a team and do a sport we love. Not a lot people get to say they love what they do every day. Well I love being a student at LC and I loving being a cheerleader here as well. LC and the cheerleading team, together, has helped me grow into the person I've always needed to be and has helped me realize that it is important to embrace the opportunities and people we meet.
I have recently gotten involved with volunteering there and it has been a great experience thus far. I am excited to get more involved there. But my biggest involvement has been with St. Jude and Relay for Life. These two organization have definitely been amazing to work with. This past summer I was able to represent Lynchburg College and fly to the St Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. This was a life changing opportunity where I was able to tour the hospital, meet patients, parents, nurses, doctors, teachers, and even survivors. I was able to see where the money goes, the advances they are making to finding cures and saving children.
Relay for Life has been a part of my life since I was in the eighth grade. Someone I was very close to was diagnosed with cancer and ever since then I have dedicated my time with Relay for Life to her.
People might be surprised to know that I can play the trumpet, I am very close to my family (especially my Grammy), and I am huge sports fan --- basketball, baseball, hockey, football --- PACKERS!!!!