Foster, Short to continue to cheer at Georgetown
STANFORD — Years of training and pushing themself in practice and gymnastics have culminated in a big moment – Amber Foster and Mallory Short signing letters of intent to become the newest members of the Georgetown College Cheer Team.
The two Lincoln County High School seniors publicly announced their decision to attend Georgetown during a signing ceremony held at the school, putting ink to paper in front of their families, friends, coach and fellow LCHS cheerleaders.
While excited about the opportunity to continue cheering, Short, who has been involved with the sport since she was six years old, put education before cheer when choosing a school.
“I knew I wanted to cheer in college and I checked out cheer clinics to see where I wanted to go, but it was important to me to find a school with a good program in my major. And they have a real good pre-vet program up there,” she said.
The campus of the NAIA, Mid-South Conference School and it’s proximity to her home in Hustonville also captured Short’s attention.
“It’s a smaller school so it’s not overwhelming. With the smaller campus, everything’s more convenient,” she said. “And it’s pretty close to home.”
For Foster, who has been cheering since she was three years old, attending Georgetown wasn’t in her college plans.
“I thought I was going to Morehead,” she stated. “I got invited to come for the preview day (visit) and I decided to go even though I thought I knew where I was going. But then I’m like, ‘I love this place!’ I went and walked around the campus and I just fell in love with the campus and all the people there. Even the people that I didn’t talk to, they would walk by and say, ‘Hi.’ It was so friendly. I loved it.”
“They handed me my acceptance letter that day that I went.”
Foster and Short join a cheer team with a successful history. In the past 15 years, the squad, which is coached by Joanie Alexander, has finished in the Top 4 of the Mid-South Conference every year, including four conference championships. The team finished third last season and was also third in the NAIA regionals.
Amy Bastin, who has coached Foster and Short during their four years at LCHS, had plenty of words of praise for the two seniors.
“I can’t say enough about Amber. She’s a hard worker, always has a smile on her face,” she said. “When Tonya (Foster’s mom) said she was going for a visit at Georgetown, I told Amber, ‘You really need to look into cheering at Georgetown.’ Joannie Alexander is a great friend of mine and I said, ‘I believe that you would be a perfect fit for her and her program.’ I texted Joanie and she said, ‘I’ll offer her a scholarship today.’ Amber’s been injured so she hasn’t been able to show Joanie what she can do, but she knows that I wouldn’t send somebody her way that I didn’t truly believe in.”
“Mallory has been with me for four years. I talked to Mallory about cheering in college because I think Mallory has so much to offer. And I think that Georgetown, just like with Amber, is going to be a good fit,” Bastin said. “I know Mallory is going to go and succeed. I can’t wait to see her on the sideline, can’t wait to see her representing Lincoln with pride.”
Foster and Short both got to meet members of the Georgetown cheer team during their visit to the campus. They have also had the opportunity to work with the team by participating in the team’s stunt and recruitment clinic.
“Mallory did get to do some clinic and stunting with them,” said Bastin. “Mallory will probably be switching back and forth from co-ed stunting and all-girl stunting. She’s a base for us right now. Coach Joanie was really excited to see that she could co-ed stunt. She hasn’t been able to co-ed stunt for a couple years.”
Short said she could be a base or a flyer at Georgetown.
“I was a flyer my first two years of high school. I got taken down because I got stronger,” she said. “They basically use their co-ed boys as back spots so it’s a lot of extra strength. So I can either base or fly.”
Foster, whose career plans are to become an elementary mathematics teacher, is a base for LCHS. She didn’t get to showcase her talents at the stunt and recruitment clinic like Short did because she was on crutches at the time. However, that didn’t stop her from getting in on some of the action.
“Amy talked to her (Alexander) and told her I was an asset to the team and she started talking to me and invited me to come to the clinic,” Foster said. “I told her I was on crutches but she told me to come on. I could still do motions with my arms for cheers that they were doing even though I was on my crutches. I really liked it.”
Foster, who could be a main or secondary base at the college level, said the clinic experience brought her to tears.
“I saw them cheer and loved the environment. It was more like family than a team. And I just started crying,” she said. “My parents are like, ‘You lit up when you went there. I’m very excited.”
While Foster and Short have several more weeks to cheer for LCHS, Bastin says she’s excited to see both girls move on to cheer in college.
“ I just can’t wait to see what both of them are going to do,” she said. “I know the sky’s the limit and I know that they have so much to offer there.”
For the girls, the chance to cheer in college is the realization of a childhood dream.
“I’ve always wanted to cheer in college but I don’t know if I would be without Amy,” Short said. “Amy kind of pushed me the rest of the way to do it. I’m excited to go live on campus, study my major and get to know the cheer team a little more.”
“I didn’t really think it was possible for me,” said Foster. “For ages I thought, ‘I don’t think I can do that. I don’t think I’m good enough. I’m not college-level material.’ And now I am. I can’t wait.”
Foster is the daughter of Tonya and Kevin Foster of Hustonville. Short is the daughter of Jeremy and Amy Short of Hustonville.
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