Barnett to join University of Mobile cheer team
The University of Mobile cheerleading team will soon have a new addition come fall term, after W.S. Neal senior Adria Barnett officially signed her scholarship to attend the campus this past week.
Barnett said she sought out the program when she learned the school had a competitive cheerleading team.
“I did the Distinguished Young Women program over the summer and got a scholarship,” Barnett said. “That opened the door for me to go to (University of Mobile) since I already had a scholarship. When I went and heard the school had competitive cheerleading I really wanted to do it. I went and talked to Coach (Kami Whiteis) and she asked me to come to a practice. She offered me a scholarship afterwards and I accepted.
Whiteis began the cheerleading program at the University of Mobile a year ago. She believes Barnett will be a great addition, so much so, making Barnett the second signee of the year.
“(Barnett) is a strong and determined individual,” Whiteis said. “Those are the type of people we need to continue to build a team and hopefully qualify for nationals. She worked well with our current team members. She had all the skills we were looking for in our early signers.”
Barnett said she’s loved cheerleading ever since she was six years old.
“When I started tumbling I knew then I loved it,” Barnett said. “I believe doing competitive cheer squad more than a Friday night sideline is more fun because it’s more things like stunting, tumbling and things of that nature.”
Barnett’s youth all-star coach, Jean Freeman, said her young pupil was one of her best students.
“She’s self motivated,” Freeman said. “She works so hard. One of the hardest working kids I’ve taught in a long time. She’s so dependable. I’m very excited for her.”
Barnett said her earlier days under the tutelage of Freeman catapulted her love and respect for the sport, which she still feels today.
(Ms. Freeman) has helped me ever since I started cheering Barnett said. She’s been a role model in my life. She was the one that made me love it.”
Barnett said there are a lot of people instrumental in helping her get to this point.
“I want to thank my mom and dad. They have really supported me,” Barnett said.
“And all my friends. Kendra Collins and Justin Floyd, especially. Kendra travelled with me during cheer competitions to Louisiana and Georgia. Wherever we were going she went. Justin tumbled in the gym with me, even made me go to practice at times. He encourages me to continue to get better and better.”
Academically, Barnett is an academic honor roll student and serves as president of the student council. She also serves as secretary for the Future Farmers of America local chapter. While at WSN Barnett has participated in cheerleading, color guard and softball. She has lettered in softball since the eighth grade.
WSN principal Patricia Frazier said Barnett has been a model student-athlete.
“(Barnett) is an extraordinary athlete and good student. We’re all very proud of her accomplishments. The sky is the limit for her.”
Barnett said she is interested in studying elementary education in college.
The University of Mobile competes in the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) and is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).