Family, friends and coaches celebrated with Madison Harris, seated second from left, as she signed with the Milligan College cheerleading squad. (Erwin Record Staff Photo by Keeli Parkey)

From Staff Reports

For her college career, a Unicoi County High School cheerleader will be trading her blue and white for orange and black.

Madison Harris, who graduated from UCHS last month, signed with the Milligan College Buffaloes cheerleading squad during a ceremony on Thursday, June 14.

“I am extremely excited to be a part of this program,” Harris told The Erwin Record. “It has always been a dream to cheer in college and I am finally here.”

Teresa Parkey, head cheer coach at UCHS, extended her congratulations to Harris.

“I am very happy for Madison,” Parkey said. “She worked hard as a high school cheerleader and she is a great addition to Milligan’s program. They are very lucky to have her.”

Her road to Milligan began about a month ago when she spoke with Milligan cheer coach Chelsea Woodacre.

“She showed much interest in my skills and later informed me she was eager to give me a tryout and hopefully, later on, an offer,” Harris said.

Harris said she decided to attend Milligan College for several reasons.

“I looked at a few schools before Milligan,” she added. “It started off with Clemson, next UT, and then ETSU. Lastly, I chose Milligan. It really stood out to me in ways that no other school did. Milligan showed such interest in me, made sure I knew I would be known as myself and not just a number, and made me feel like my presence at their school was greatly appreciated. That is why I set my heart on Milligan.”

Harris said she is excited for her freshman year with the Buffaloes.

“I believe I am bringing the program a passion for cheer and a drive that will always push me to be the best I can always be,” she added. “I believe I will make my team and school very proud. … I am looking forward to spending my first cheer season in college getting closer to the other cheerleaders and dancers on my team, cheering on the buffs and praising our King while I do so.”

Harris gave credit to her coaches and family for their help on her way to college.

“I would like to thank all of my coaches I have had from EJAA all through high school and especially my family for making me set goals and pushing me to limits that helped make this signing possible,” she said.

Madison is the daughter of Frankie and Teresa Harris.