This week's Lee-Scott Athlete of the Week is Chauntel Kriel, who is a Warriors cheerleader.
The Auburn Villager: When did you start cheerleading?
Chauntel Kriel: I started cheerleading in Pee-Wee when I was in fifth grade. I tried out for JV in seventh grade and for varsity in 11th grade. I didn't cheer 10th grade.
AV: What do you like most about cheerleading?
CK: Really, getting to dress all up and go be on the field and cheer on the team. You just kind of have that respect because you're trying to be that role model for others. I like that positivity it brings.
AV: Are there arts and crafts involved with cheerleading as well?
CK: Yes. I made that poster right there. We make lots of signs and it's so much fun. It's so messy, and I love getting messy with paints and all that, and it's very creative.
AV: Is it fun to tap into that creative aspect against the teams your playing?
CK: Yes. At times. You can't be too direct at them, so you have to tone it down a little bit, but it's fun. And I like being with the little kids. We do camps with the little kids, and that's so much fun because little kids are just like, "Cheerleaders!" And you're just like "Hi."
AV: Did you do cheerleading camps when you were growing up?
CK: I did. I was obsessed with cheerleaders. My parents would take me to football games and we had to sit where the cheerleaders were because that's all I would watch. I didn't care about football. I cared about the cheerleaders.
AV: Do you incorporate any tumbling?
CK: I can do a ... roundoff back-handspring and standing back-handspring. And that's where I stopped it because tumbling scares me. To those who can do it, I have such a high respect for them because that's so amazing. But not for this girl.
AV: Where are you in the pyramid?
CK: I'm the back-spot. I help lift the person up and try to take weight off of the bases. If the flier falls, I normally got them. I'll catch them.
AV: Does that responsibility make you nervous at all?
CK: Yes because one of our fliers did fall and she broke her arm, and so after that none of my fliers have ever touched the ground. That is so scary. That does add a whole of responsibility.
AV: Do you cheer year-round?
CK: It's through basketball season also, but since I play varsity basketball I come in for the boys basketball games. I can't cheer, of course, for girls basketball.
AV: Do you have a preference?
CK: I prefer football just because you get to be on the sidelines, on the field. And in basketball, you just have to stand in the bleachers. It kind of separates you from the game.
AV: Do you have any plans for after you graduate?
CK: I plan on going to Auburn for college, but as far as my sports career, it's going to end at high school.
Interview by Brian Woodham