High Five: West gets her kicks in multiple ways
Published 7:06 am Sunday, March 20, 2022
Senior Maya West’s schedule has been a little tight this spring. The Southside soccer midfielder is also a cheerleader which leaves her little free time. Cheerleaders are not part of spring sports, but her squad has been preparing for the national tournament this weekend in Myrtle Beach, which has meant back to back practices after a full school day.
- How have you balanced cheerleading with soccer this spring?
Maya: It’s been hectic, but fun. I’ve cheered since 6th grade at Chocowinity Middle School and played soccer since my sophomore year, so I’ve had fun doing both my senior year. I can’t imagine not doing either one, so it’s worked out. They both keep me in shape, so it’s been good.
- Why did you decide to try out for soccer as a sophomore without playing it before?
Maya: Some of the older girls on the team were my friends and they encouraged me. I really liked it and decided to keep going after they graduated. I’ve always liked my teammates and gotten along well with them, so I’m okay with being the only senior. My coaches (Jay and Tina Petty) make it fun and competitive at the same time and I really like that. It’s a very positive environment, so I’m glad I did it.
- What extra responsibility do you have as the only senior?
Maya: I know it’s my job to be a leader and set an example, but it’s not that hard to do, so this year really hasn’t been that different. I do lead the warmups and my teammates have asked more questions this year. I try to be positive and encouraging. Yelling is definitely not my style.
- Your cheerleading team won the state championship in December. How excited are you to compete in the national tournament?
Maya: Very, because our team has worked really hard to prepare. We’ve learned new stunts and routines and I’m going down there with a great group of friends. It was pretty cool to win the state tournament and this is my last competition ever, so we all want to give it our best shot.
- What are your plans after graduation?
Maya: I have been accepted to UNC-Wilmington, so I will still be a Seahawk. My best friend growing up moved to Wilmington a few years ago, so we thought it would be neat to go to the same college. She ended up moving back, but I really liked the campus and the area, so I’m looking forward to going. I’m undecided on my major, but thinking about criminal justice. NCIS and Criminal Minds are my two favorite TV shows, so we’ll