Bound for Birmingham: Cheer King and Murrah stars bring skills to UAB | Sports
Athens stars Jacey King and Telaya Murrah are the newest members of the UAB Blazers cheer squad, after signing scholarships for the program on Tuesday.
Among family, friends, coaches and teammates, both signed to join the Blazers and showed their appreciation to those who helped them get to this point in their lives.
Both athletes gave short speeches after being introduced by Athens athletic director Linda Moore. Their families have also been recognized by the public for their good work in raising two young athletes.
“I want to thank my parents and my family for supporting me through everything,” said Murrah, who is described by Athens competition head coach Nicole Stockman as a leader by her actions rather than by his words. “I want to thank my coaches for pushing me to do my best. I also want to thank my teammates.”
King also took the time to speak to members of the public.
“I want to thank all the coaches for showing me my true potential,” said King, who has been a team captain, elected by her teammates, since 8th grade. “I would also like to thank my new coach (at UAB) for giving me the opportunity to start a new journey. I can’t wait to have another amazing team.
The signing of the UAB by the two athletes for the cheers of the competition offers a diversification of the sports in which Athens is represented at the top level.
That’s something that appeals to Moore, as Athens continues to see athletes level up at colleges of all sizes and locations.
“I was really excited when these two young ladies came up to me and told me they were signing scholarships for joy and for a great program like UAB,” Moore said. “It connects directly with our athletes who sign with football, baseball and all of our sports.”
Moore emphasized that all sports are equally important to AHS and therefore all scholarship signings are worth celebrating.
“No sport is above another. We all matter, so we need to show our athletes signing that their sport is just as important as any other,” Moore said.
For Coach Stockman, the realization of a dream for two of her athletes was an emotional event, and something that surprises her not so much with the leadership qualities as with the hard work of the athletes.
Speaking of Murrah, Stockman said Murrah chooses to walk with his actions, rather than speak with his words.
“Telaya is very quiet. I always said that she put her talent where the words would be. His tumbling is one of the best on the team and his jumps were the best on the team. His stunting, let’s put it this way: his two bases and his best girl went to a clinic at a university and (Murrah) couldn’t go. They had a college backspot, and they couldn’t do some of the stunts they had been doing all year (with Murrah).
Speaking of King, Stockman says she’s the ultimate leader.
“This team could be horrible, they could say a few words, and all of a sudden it’s like a light bulb goes off and everyone starts performing better. As far as practice goes, if I were to go out , I was coming back and she was already making them start stretching and jumping; she basically led the practice.
Stockman said there will be girls who need to step up and fill that leadership role.
Further updates will be provided as more athletes from Athens City Schools and Limestone County Schools continue to sign scholarships to play at the next level.