Macey Meredith tried her best to summarize how 10 years worth of dedication culminated into a special moment Tuesday inside the Triton media center.
ERWIN — Macey Meredith tried her best to summarize how 10 years worth of dedication culminated into a special moment Tuesday inside the Triton media center.
As she sat in front of friends, past teammates and coaches, Meredith was reminded of her journey that is now set to continue at Barton College this fall.
She credits the addition of Triton cheer coach Casidy Havird for invigorating a program that didn’t regularly compete on the state level, but was able to make the NCHSAA invitational twice during Meredith’s four-year career.
“They (Havird and her staff) wanted to change the program and get us going so we’re not just typical sideline cheerleaders,” Meredith said.
Triton advanced past regionals and into the state tournament in 2019, then following a hiatus due to COVID-19 concerns, returned to the event this past season and placed third.
Havird spoke highly of the senior captain whose extensive background prepared her to take a leadership role at states, even helping with routine creation.
“She did an awesome job, especially through COVID and everything, keeping the girls on top of everything they needed to,” Havird said.
“She has been super influential in workouts and she was always a big motivation. ... I’m really excited that she’s signing somewhere.”
Meredith, a longtime athlete at Dunn’s Elite Gym, also spoke about the progression of her Triton teammates and how letting the squad train at the gym sparked ingenuity and creativity.
For her, the experience at states was validation.
“We grew tremendously, like the experience was out the roof,” she said.
“I felt like girls were more into it and wanted to do it, so that always helps the situation.
Meredith knew she wanted to compete at the collegiate level, but wasn’t thrilled with the idea of joining larger programs. A decision to continue her career in a budding sports environment, just an hour north of Dunn, was just the right fit.
“It was mostly, for me, the small campus size, small class sizes — what I could do with cheerleading ... I’m so excited,” she said.
Donnell Coley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 910-230-2040.