Wright kind of pride

Sophomore Elisiah Wright brings tumbling talent to the cheerleading team.

Wright is a self-taught tumbler who is not afraid to “bring it on.” Wright has been cheering for 11 years and has cheered for the Spring Lake Eagles

Camile Knecht, Reporter

You’re sitting in the gym during an intense game of basketball. The opposing team just made two baskets and suddenly the buzzer for halftime sounds, making you jump.

Desperate for a victory, the crowd is losing hope. Out come the cheerleaders, and among them is sophomore Elisiah Wright, tumbling across the court. Almost instantly, the crowd goes wild.

“I started tumbling at around four and I never got proper training for it. I always taught myself everything,” Wright said.
What sparked his interest in cheering at a young age allowed him to learn through imitation.

Wright said, “I saw ‘Bring It On’ when I was little, and I was like, ‘Oh, I can do a cartwheel,’ so I just tried to do everything that they did in the movie.”

He began cheering at four for the youth team the Spring Lake Eagles and has been cheering for about 11 years.

“I didn’t get really good until like seven,” Wright said. “That’s when I got my first back-handspring, but I really hit my peak in sixth grade because I saw other people doing it and I was like, ‘Okay, I have to get better’.”

From the moment he joined the team here t school, Wright felt welcomed by the girls.

Write said, “It’s fun, I knew some of them because they were my school friends, and some of them I didn’t know, so I’d stick to my friends that I’ve talked to at school.”

Varsity coach (FIRST NAME) Faulkner said, “He works great with them. He’s very much a team player. Even though he is strong in tumbling, he knows where he needs help and he allows them to help and guide him.”

According to Faulkner, Wright brings a “different dynamic” to the team not only because he is a male, but also due to his strength in tumbling.

“Obviously his strength is his tumbling ability and his fearlessness in tumbling,” Faulkner said. ”If he has to have a weakness, it’s just that he’s not used to traditional cheer. I think he’s had some co-ed stunting experience, but that’s totally different than traditional four-girl or four- man stunting, so he’s having to learn those skills.”

Despite minor teasing, being the only male cheerleader on the team has its benefits, according to Wright.

“It’s kind of good because you don’t have to worry about any other guys coming in and stealing your thunder,” Wright said. “Sometimes, you know, people make fun, and you just be like, ‘Whatever’. If they saw more guys they probably wouldn’t make fun.”

Wright has connected with another male cheerleader at school who cheers for an All Star team.

“I talk to him about his competitions and stuff whenever I get the chance to on the bus,” Wright said.

Whenever comments are made about him being the sole male, Wright keeps his goals and success in mind and doesn’t let them affect his talent in cheer.

So far, Wright has won many competition awards and he looks forward to cheering in his future.

“This year I started with NC State with cheer because they are trying to recruit me, so that’s how I’m going to further my career,” Wright said. “I’ll probably just do college cheer and then All Star cheer so I can get a world ring.”

Wright is cheering in the right direction and continues to awe the crowds with his tumbling.

“He’s a crowd pleaser, so he does make you smile,” Faulkner said. “The crowd loves him and that’s what we’re there for is to cheer the team on and keep the crowd enthusiastic.”