Bright Spots: Local cheerleader performs at Citrus Bowl

The word “cheer” is defined as “shouting for joy, in praise or encouragement or giving comfort or support.”

Paul W. Bryant High School senior Kecie Erby could be added to that definition, as she’s a splendid example.

Kecie is among the hundreds of high school cheerleaders from around the country who were selected as a Varsity All-Star Cheerleader and performed in the Citrus Bowl last month.

“It was so exciting,” Erby said. “I am an all-American star cheerleader for the Citrus Bowl. I thank God for everything that I come through for my past and now is my future. To be like it is my time to show the whole world what I am made of. I am totally proud of myself.”

Kecie said she left Orlando with a whole lot more than an exciting experience to share. Since she was the only cheerleader from the Tuscaloosa area, Kecie was welcomed into a squad of Alabamians who attended from Troy.

That’s where she made a new lifelong friend in fellow all-star cheerleader Jaylee.

“She is kind, friendly and also the most amazing friend that I have known in the whole wide world,” Kecie said.

And you might be surprised who Kecie was rooting for during the Citrus Bowl.

While she can’t help but adore the Alabama Crimson Tide, LSU is her No. 1 team.

Kecie’s mom, Carolyn Erby, is so proud of what her daughter has accomplished.

“(We are) overjoyed and extremely proud of her,” Carolyn Erby said. “She has accomplished so many things that so many people would have said ordinarily that she won’t do, she shouldn’t do or she can’t do.”

Carolyn Erby said Kecie has taught her more than she could ever have imagined.

“She is my God-given gift and I am going to encourage her and stand by her to help her to be the very best that she can be,” Carolyn Erby said. “She just never gives up and she is a loving, caring person. She encourages other people whenever she sees someone who is down. She will continue and she’s always there to uplift someone else, and that is what continues to encourage me. Her fire comes from within.”

Kecie will attend Stillman College after she graduates from Bryant High School in May.

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