Athlete Spotlight: Millbrook cheerleader Ashley McGuire

Millbrook cheerleader Ashley McGuire

Millbrook High School 17-year-old senior

Sport: Cheerleading. Position: Side base

Parents: Jim and Susan McGuire

Hometown: Winchester

What do you love about cheerleading?: The team aspect. I just love how we’re always able to support each other on the mat and on the sidelines. And I love how spirited we get to be on a regular basis.

Most memorable moment in cheerleading: Last season when we qualified at regionals for the second round of regionals. That is the farthest we’ve gone in a long time in Millbrook cheer. It was just so exciting to be able to get that new experience and to feel all of our hard work off.

Most embarrassing moment in cheerleading: On the sideline cheering for a home football game last year, we had a really, really big crowd. There were a couple people in our ‘Loud Crowd,’ our student section, who yelled my name to do a flip or to do a tumbling pass. It caught me really off guard and I was very nervous. What ended up happening is when I went to do my tumble pass, I completely bailed out of it and ended up not getting all the way over on my flip. I fell on my knees.

Most difficult moment in cheerleading: One of the most difficult parts with the competition season is the fact that no matter how well you feel you performed on the mat, the competition judging is not always the easiest to understand, and sometimes the final result doesn’t always make sense given everybody’s performance. I think it’s difficult accepting that that was the way you were scored or ranked, even though you felt that you had done better than that.

Three people you can have dinner with, dead or alive: My Grandpa McGuire; he passed away when I was really little. But from the stories I’ve heard about him, he was always so encouraging and had such great morals and values, and had a wonderful outlook on life. From what I’ve heard, we had a lot of similarities in personality. I would love to be able to meet him in this phase of my life. Simone Biles; I had a background in gymnastics prior to joining cheerleading, and I went through a lot of mental hardships during my later gymnastics years. It was also so encouraging being able to read Simone’s stories and hear about all her successes and all the mental hardships she worked through becoming the gymnast she is today. And Taylor Swift; I would love to be able to get more of her backstory on how she is able to come up with the songs that she comes up with. I know they have so much meaning and connection to each other. I just think the work she’s been able to put out is pretty incredible. I’ve always been a fan of hers since a young age.

Biggest athletic influence: My older brother Brian (a 2016 Millbrook graduate and soccer player). He has always pushed me to work harder in all that I do. We have a lot of similarities in personality and work ethic, and so we can really connect on that level of grit and determination. He was always a very hard-working athlete. To this day, he encourages me to keep pushing and keep working toward your goals, and to never give up.

Favorite teacher: My calculus teacher Mr. [Ben] Ratliff. I have had him for a teacher for the past two years for both Calc AB and Calc BC. Despite that his class is very difficult, he always has such a wonderful attitude every single day. He makes learning a difficult subject so fun, and he always adds real-life examples. He just wants to be able to have a relaxing class and to make sure his students enjoy learning.

Favorite athlete: Simone Biles

Favorite movie: “Miracles from Heaven”

Favorite TV show: “Full House”

Favorite song: “I Will Never Be the Same” by Ellie Holcomb

Favorite food: Sushi

Worst thing you’ve eaten: Brussels sprouts

Plans after high school: I definitely plan on attending a four-year university, but I’m undecided with what university. I am definitely interested in genetics and communications. I’ve just always been interested in genetics ever since I was introduced to it in the seventh grade. It’s purely just the material that I found so interesting. With communications, I have always enjoyed being able to empathize and understand people, and to be able to connect with them on a new level. And public speaking and presentations has always been something that I have found pretty fun.

Compiled by Robert Niedzwiecki

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