Three Warren Central cheerleaders sign with college programs

Published 5:41 pm Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Three cheers for Warren Central’s cheerleaders!

A trio of Warren Central seniors — Aaleiya Williams, Anna Richardson and Payton Feagin — gathered together with family and teammates on Wednesday to celebrate signing with college cheerleading programs.

Williams has signed with Mississippi College, Richardson with Pearl River Community College, and Feagin with Northwest Mississippi Community College.

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“We’re all so blessed for this opportunity,” said Williams, who will get a full scholarship from MC.
Williams said she went to Mississippi College because of its Christian atmosphere and curriculum as well as the chance to continue cheering.

“I knew I wanted to stay with a Christian community, so hearing that they were a Christian private college I knew it would be a perfect opportunity to stay plugged in. And I love cheering, so I was just like, ‘Let’s keep it going,’” she said.

Mississippi College does not yet have a competitive cheerleading team. Its squad focuses instead on traditional sideline routines, and that’s just fine with Williams.

“I think that both have their really fun aspects. But I love sideline just because I get to goof around on the sideline and play with my family in the stands,” she said.

Richardson, meanwhile, prefers competitive cheer, which is why she signed with Pearl River.

Pearl River has won back-to-back Universal Cheerleaders Association national championships in the Open All-Girl college division.

“I originally wanted to go to Mississippi Gulf Coast, and then one of the girls that used to go to Warren Central, I was stunting with her and she recommended Pearl River. I went to a few clinics at Pearl River and then I didn’t want to go anywhere else,” Richardson said.

Richardson added that she was excited for the opportunity to continue with a sport she loves.

“I’ve been cheering since seventh grade and it’s been my goal to go do college cheer because it’s such a big thing now. (Pearl River) won nationals two years in a row and I want to be a national champion. It’s just really fun and something I love to do, and I want to keep doing it,” Richardson said. “It’s been my sport for so long. I just have a strong love for it. I’ve done it so much and it’s like if I stopped doing it I don’t know what I’d do. It’s my thing.”

Feagin will also be part of a competitive team at Northwest Mississippi. Like Richardson, she was recruited for the team by a friend and found a college program she wanted to be a part of.

“I’m super, super excited. I think that’s a great opportunity,” Feagin said. “A friend of mine’s sister cheers there and she was really persistent about me coming to a clinic. I kept saying no, and then I finally went and I just fell in love with it. Brandon Casey, the head coach, made you feel like it was a family and not just a sport.”

Feagin said she enjoys the constant challenge and competition with other cheer teams, as well as herself, to improve.

“It’s always a challenge and there’s never a stopping point,” she said. “You can always get better.”

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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