GUYTON — Peyton Radcliffe stands out, even in a crowd of similarly dressed cheerleaders. Her high-wattage smile makes her impossible to miss.
Life University will soon benefit from Radcliffe’s bright aura. During a ceremony in South Effingham’s auxiliary gym Thursday, the scholarship recipient signed a national letter of intent to attend the NAIA school in Marietta.
“Celebrating Peyton is such a fun thing to do,” said Amanda Ramsey, South Effingham’s competitive cheerleading coach. “Peyton is the most extra exemplar of what it means to be a student-athlete. Not only does she exceed academically, her dedication to cheer and her team is out of this world.
“Peyton is like no other girl. She is a perfect mix of being driven, hard working, creative, enthusiastic and outgoing all rolled into one big, beautiful smile.”
An aspiring chiropractor, Radcliffe credits her smile and showmanship for her individual cheerleading success. She starred at South Effingham Middle School for three years before lettering all four years at the varsity level for a dominant squad. The Mustangs recently won the Region 2-AAAAAA championship and advanced to the state meet in Macon.
Radcliffe noted there are other characteristics that are vital for a cheerleader.
She said, “When people say (cheerleading is not a sport), I try not to let it affect me because I know they just don’t understand how far and how much work it takes to be a cheerleader. Being a cheerleader, you have to be mentally and physically strong all the way around. You can’t let anything to get to you.”
Ramsey and South Effingham Athletic Director Jeff Faith said Radcliffe will be greatly missed.
Faith said, “Peyton has been an incredible asset to the program and we are excited for you and thank you for being an excellent student-athlete and leader at South Effingham High School.”