CHEERLEADING: Addison Whitman selected for UGA squad
As far as senior years go, it’s been a pretty good one for Gordon Lee cheerleader Addison Whitman.
On Aug. 6 at Columbus State University, Whitman was one of the 16 cheerleaders selected for the GACA All-State Cheerleading Team and a finalist for Georgia Cheerleader of the Year.
In November, she and her squad went back to Columbus and captured the Class A Public School state championship.
And this past weekend, Whitman went to Athens and became a University of Georgia cheerleader.
Whitman was among 90 cheerleaders, both male and female, who vied to be a part of next year’s squad during two days of intense tryouts at Stegeman Coliseum on the UGA campus.
“It’s like, the best feeling ever,” Whitman said proudly. “I’m so excited. I worked really hard for this and it’s definitely a great feeling.”
Whitman said the tryout was a tense and involved process.
“First, we had to fill out an application and then once we got to the tryout we had to stunt, tumble and jump, make up her own cheer and also do a dance,” she explained. “There was a cut on Friday, a pretty big one, and by Saturday it was down to about 70 people left, including the guys.”
Saturday’s portion of the tryouts included each applicant coming up with and performing their own cheer, performing a pre-taught dance routine and standing and running tumbling passes, all in a span of about five minutes.
“It was a really strenuous tryout and very tiring,” she added. “But I did my best and the results show.”
Whitman’s crowd-leading will be on display next year for Bulldog football, basketball and volleyball games, as well as gymnastics meets.
Gordon Lee cheer coach Mandy Sturdivant called Whitman making the team “the icing on the cake” for this year’s Gordon Lee squad.
“It’s great to have anyone go off to cheer at any level, but to go to an SEC school is just awesome,” Sturdivant said. “The competition she’s faced (in Athens) was phenomenal, but like I told her, she earned everything she got. She didn’t have anything given to her.”
Sturdivant added that she had plenty of confidence in her senior standout to make the squad.
“She’s just such a strong tumbler and I knew their coach had said earlier in the year that he was strongly looking cheerleaders with tumbling ability,” she continued. “I knew she could hold her own with that and she’s very good base.
“There were a lot of cheerleaders there that were high-caliber, but I knew that she had as good a chance as anybody walking on that floor.”