As football season starts up across the country so, too, does the school year begin for cheerleading teams.
For one teenager in Missouri in particular, this year won’t be like any before it.
Bayley James, a senior at Jackson (Mo.), was born with Down syndrome. As KFVS-TV reports, James is finally living out her dream of being a varsity cheerleader.
On a cell phone video from May obtained by KFVS, James can be seen getting her ticket onto the team. The team’s cheerleading coach, Jana Scott, asked her if she’s happy. In an extremely cool moment, James exclaimed “YES!” for all to hear.
James called it the best day of her life, according to KFVS.
James has been cheering for six years in hopes of someday making the squad. Now, it’s a reality.
“She continues to work, not even in practice, but she goes home every night and works on these cheers, and it shows,” Scott told KFVS.
According to Scott, James tried to learn 10 cheers this summer. She appears to have surpassed the initial goal.
“Then we went to 15, now she knows every cheer that we’re going to do, and that’s close to 50 cheers,” Scott said. “So, to me that just is inspiring.”
“My coach is amazing because she makes me happy, and she makes me go out and cheer,” said James.
Scott added that James is a positive influence for anybody she meets.
“I think it just shows that you never give up,” the coach added to KFVS. “You have perseverance, and you keep trying if you have a goal, and this is Bayley’s time, and she’s ready to shine.”
James cheered in her first away game at Hickman (Columbia, Mo.) last Friday, and will cheer at Lindbergh (St. Louis) Friday night.