NOBLE — Madison Taylor joined McAlester’s cheerleading squad as a freshman three years ago. She’d taken tumbling with junior high coach Tamara Roberts for several years and cheered for Roberts as an eighth-grade student, but varsity cheer was something else entirely.
And though Taylor made the Lady Buffs as a freshman, her first year literally came with a few bumps.
“I fell from a hill stretch and I got knocked out, went out to the hospital,” Taylor said Friday.
“I don’t remember it, don’t remember any of it, but I’ve tried not to let that happen. I’ve never been knocked out since.”
Even a brief bout of unconsciousness couldn’t diminish Taylor’s love for cheerleading. Now a senior, she’s been a Lady Buff four years in a row, going up in the air over and over again as one of the team’s top girls.
“I like heights, so it doesn’t really bother me,” Taylor said of her position, adding that to stay safe when she’s in the air, she tries to remember to “stay tight, pull your weight up.”
“I try not to imagine the crowd looking at me,” she said. “I just get through the routine.”
Born in Ada, Taylor moved with her family first to Krebs, then to McAlester. Taylor grew up in the McAlester Public School system.
As she’s gotten older and more experienced, Taylor said her responsibilities as a Lady Buff have changed. Those responsibilities include helping the younger cheerleaders, both as a teammate and as a friend.
“I’m responsible for making sure the girls are doing stuff right, making sure they’re playing attention,” Taylor said. “Your freshman year, you’re told that. I didn’t really know my senior cheerleaders that well (when I was a freshman), but I’ve tried to that reverse that.