Cheers to being a top-20 finalist
Next month, Rock Canyon High School (RCHS) junior and varsity cheerleader, Jaidyn Shirley, will head to Atlanta to be honored as one of Nfinity Athletic Corporation’s All-American top-20 finalists.
After being named a semi-finalist from thousands of applicants from across the country, Shirley had to complete another application and submit four videos highlighting her personality at game day, tumbling and stunting skills. “When I saw my name in the top 20 in the United States, I was literally in shock,” said Shirley.
The finalists exemplify excellence in academics, athletics and community outreach. Nfinity, an athletic shoe, apparel and accessory company, will recognize these young athletes during a formal banquet where they will receive a letter jacket and take part in a photo shoot that will be used in upcoming social media, branding and print media campaigns.
Cheerleading runs in the Shirley family. Her mom was a high school cheer coach, and at the age of 3, Shirley tumbled her way through her mom’s classes until joining the Kitty Kat Klub at Peak Athletics (now Cheer Athletics) at the age of 5. Shirley joined a competitive cheer team when she was 6 and has been on an all-star cheer team since then. She especially loves flying through the air and being on top of the stunts and pyramids.
“Cheerleading has given me the gift of perseverance,” said Shirley. “It has taught me to never give up and always keep a smile on my face.”
To describe Shirley as well-rounded is an understatement, as she goes above and beyond with all that she does. She is a member of RCHS National Honor Society; has been a varsity cheerleader since her freshman year; competes on a second, all-star cheer team; plays high school tennis where she and her partner won Continental League during her freshman and sophomore years; was named RCHS’s World Language Student of the year in 2021; participated with Youth Leadership Douglas County; and is an active member of RCHS student council – to name a few of her accomplishments.
She also spends time doing community service, including being a volunteer for Aceing Autism, a tennis-based, social connection program for children with autism. If that’s not enough, Shirley finds time to coach at Cheer Athletics where the little kids look up to her just as she remembers looking up to the coaches she had when she was young.
Shirley is excited to see where her love of cheer takes her after high school. She would welcome the opportunity to cheer while she pursues her higher education.
By Elean Gersack; photos courtesy of the Shirley family