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Gracelyn Huntoon : Newfound Female Athlete of the Season

  • Gracelyn Huntoon


Friday, April 20, 2018

What is the biggest challenge your team faced this season and how did you overcome it?

At the beginning of our season we started with 13 team members. Three months into our season, over the course of two weeks, we were down to six team members on our competition team. This put a lot of stress on our “little army of six.” In two practices we had to create a whole new routine. These practices were really hard mentally and physically, but this made us even closer and stronger as a team. All this hard work paid off and lead us to a first-place title, which was a first for Newfound cheerleaders. Our hard work paid off even more at our state competition where we earned the highest score in the history for the Newfound cheer team.

Who was the unsung hero of your team?

Our whole team contributed to our successes this season but two of the most important contributors were Bethany Basford and Lilly Wright. Bethany was one of our two captains, she was the teams biggest “cheerleader.” She was always encouraging us to do our best and was constantly making us laugh. She made sure everyone knew that they were an important part of our team and she kept us on track for competition. As a captain she felt that it was her responsibility to carry the weight of the team on her shoulders. And then there’s Lilly (Tubby) Wright. At the start of the season Lilly was not the strongest flier, but after losing our top flier all the responsibilities fell onto Lilly. Throughout the season Lilly improved so much and I’m so proud of her. Lilly had to learn to fly in all but one stunt which would be a challenge for any flier, but Lilly handled it extremely well. She nailed every single stunt she was in confidently and strongly. I am so proud of both of these girls and I’m so grateful that I got to be a team with them.

Do you have any sports superstitions? If so, what are they?

All through the season one thing has supported us the most, our little seed bug, cousin of the stink bug. We found seed bugs in our gym all the time. When it came time for competition we found a seed bug right before we went on the mat before our first and second competition. At our third and fourth competition we couldn’t find one so we had to look up a picture of one. We also can’t go to a competition without our coach wearing her sparkly tank top, four bracelets and her special boots. Without these things we wouldn’t do well. We proved this at Astroblast this year where we decided to have coach not wear her special boots and within the first thirty seconds of our routine I was hit and got a really bad bloody nose. By the end of our three-minute routine I was covered in blood and bled on two other girls and all over the mat. After that day we made sure coach wore her special boots to competition.

What are some of the unwritten rules of your sport?

Some unwritten rules are that you can never say can’t, if it hurts keep going, when coach says just one more time it really means fifty more times. There are a lot of unwritten rules but those are the ones that are most popular.

Who on your team, coaches included, reminds you of a character in a TV show or movie?

Well I know Beyonce isn’t on a TV show or in a movie, but Cheyenne Reilly really is Beyonce. Cheyenne has had this nickname since before I started cheer and it definitely fits her. Cheyenne has more sass than anyone I know. She is so fierce and flawless, just like Beyonce.

Where do you get your news?

I get all my news from the school because we don’t have TV or internet at home.

What’s the most ridiculous fact you know?

Most lipstick contains fish scales.

What’s invisible but you wish people could see?

Something that is invisible but I wish people could see is how hard it is to be a cheerleader. The strength it takes to do this sport is tremendous. A lot of people say that cheerleading is not a sport and anyone could do it but that’s not even close to true. I just wish they knew how difficult it is.

If you could go to school in a foreign country, which country would you pick and why?

If I could go to school in any other country I would probably want to go to Japan because it seems like a really cool place and at night the lights in the city would look so pretty. I think that would be a great experience.

If animals could talk, which would be the rudest?

If animals could talk a monkey would probably be the rudest because monkeys really just don’t care. Even without talking their actions are rude.

What questions would you like to ask a time traveler from 200 years in the future?

I think I would ask a time traveler if people were still cheerleading because over a short period of time cheerleading has changed so much and I would love to know how much it would change over 200 years.

If you were hired to show tourists what life is really like where you live, what would you show them / have them do?

If I were to show tourists around I would have them go ski/snowboard if it was winter, and if it was summer I would have them go swimming in the lakes and have them go hiking. I would make them do a lot of things outside because it’s so beautiful and peaceful.

What is the craziest thing one of your teachers has done?

A lot of my teachers are really weird, so all do lots of weird things and I don’t think I could pick out just one thing.

What’s the best thing about being a teen? What’s the worst?

The best thing about being a teen is being able to hang out with your friends and have a little more freedom than being a little kid. The worst thing about being a teen is that you have to start being more responsible by getting a job and paying for some of your own stuff.