This Friday night, the unbeaten Wise Pumas will hit the field at M&T Bank Stadium, seeking the program’s second state title and second undefeated season.
Behind the benches and on the sideline will be another undefeated Puma….cheerleader Mikayla Edwards.
Her wins haven’t come through making and breaking tackles, blocking linemen, or dancing into an endzone; they’ve come in another form.
“I tried out for cheerleading in seventh and eighth grade and I didn’t make the team but ninth grade year, I tried out and I made the Wise cheerleading team and I’ve been on the team ever since,” Mikayla said.
The lead-by-example senior walks around with a quiet confidence and a head held high. She does everything her teammates do….stunting, jumping, dancing…even tumbling. But with an extra challenge; she has only one full arm.
“I’ve been made fun of, I’ve been bullied but…that’s me!” Mikayla confessed with a smile.
“It’s been hard but you always have to keep a strong mindset that you can do anything you put your mind to. I’m a very confident person and I never let people get inside my head or make me feel bad about myself and I’m always one step ahead.”
If Mikayla’s future goals are met according to plan, she’ll dazzle another sideline next year as a college freshman. For now though, it’s time to savor the moment under the bright lights of M&T, surrounded by her “Puma family” and the players she’s helped cheer on to a stellar year on the field.
“I love my Puma family. Every sports team…every club…Wise is one big family and I’m so glad to be a Puma.”