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Cheerleaders advance to collegiate level

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(COURTESY/MAYSE THAO)

(COURTESY/MAYSE THAO)

(COURTESY/MAYSE THAO)

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Roseville High School seniors Madyson Vaught and Mayse Thao have been cheering the majority of their lives and will continue their passion at the collegiate level at Sonoma and Sacramento State respectively.

According to Thao, who will be attending Sacramento State in the fall, cheer was a way for her to get involved while making long time friends.

“It’s just a fun way for people to get involved with sports because, as a girl, you can’t exactly do football but you still wanna be there for the Friday night games,” Thao said. “It’s just really fun to have a team to cheer on and sit there with your friends and get social time from that too.”

While Vaught didn’t base her college choices off of cheer opportunities, making the Sonoma State college cheer team was a big bonus.

“I went off of academics in which college I thought was best for me, and then that was just a bonus,” Vaught said. “I didn’t go in for cheer. It just kinda happened.”

For Vaught, not being able to see her younger cheermates finish out high school will be difficult and saddening.

“I’ll miss all the girls, my girls that are now going to be seniors,” Vaught said. “I’m really sad to not see them grow up and be seniors because I’ve gotten really close with them and I’m really gonna miss them.”

Vaught was unable to cheer her junior year because of her transfer from Woodcreek and timing of tryouts, but was glad she was able to finish her last year of high school strong.

“It was amazing. For my senior year I really wanted to come back and do it and after tryouts we started practicing and right away I knew the team was just amazing,” Vaught said. “The varsity girls were really welcoming, everybody was really welcoming and the coaches were really great and I just had an amazing time.”

Thao is optimistic about her future in her new home this upcoming fall and excited to be in a different environment..

“I honestly am super excited for it,” Thao said. “I think it’s gonna be great because the coach is awesome, he’s gonna whoop us into shape and all the people have been so inviting during all the tryouts and everything and they’re all super awesome cheerleaders.”

Vaught expects that balancing college academics and cheer will be more difficult than it’s been in high school, but feels that she is ready for the challenge

“In high school, you don’t have practice every day so you had time to do your homework and all that. But for college, we practice on weekends and during the week and we have to schedule our classes around those practices,” Vaught said. “I feel like it’s going to be difficult because there aren’t people who are gonna be pushing you to do your homework and make sure you get things turned in, it’s all on you. So I think it’s gonna be hard, but I think I’m gonna be able to do it.”

Contrary to Vaught, Thao believes balancing academics and cheer will be a breeze.

“Since sixth grade, I’ve been balancing sports teams that go year long and education and I’ve been doing pretty well with that, so I don’t think it’ll be too much harder.” Thao said. “Just the college level courses will be a change.”

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