By MARINA WATERS
Kati Garst got to fulfill a dream of cheering overseas in the new year, but on Friday, the David Crockett High School cheerleader reached another dream right here at home when she signed to continue her academic and athletic career with Milligan College.
Garst accepted a cheerleading scholarship from Milligan after considering Clemson and Memphis. But for the high school senior, Milligan offered everything she could want: the sport she loves and a way to grow her faith.
“Milligan has education and faith and that’s very important to me,” Garst said. “I want to continue to grow closer to God as I get older and also cheer has been the love of my life since I was 5 years old so I have the opportunity to go there, do something I love and kind of get paid to do it.”
But before Garst signed with Milligan, she got the chance to cheer in London on New Years Day.
Garst was selected to the group that performed in London, All-American Cheer, at Universal Cheerleaders Association camp, which she attends each summer.
“I made it and I got the opportunity to go to London so me and my mom went and I performed in the New Years Day parade,’ Garst said. “It was a one-hour route in downtown London. “It was amazing. It was a once in a lifetime experience.”
Now that Garst is back home and committed to Milligan, she said she’s most looking forward to becoming a flyer again after serving as a base at Crockett. She also said she looks forward to getting back to what made her fall in love with cheering — the people and the atmosphere.
“I’m definitely looking forward to the stunting and being a flyer again,” Garst said. “I want to get better with tumbling.
“I love the relationships I’ve built while I was cheering. I really enjoy it and the atmosphere the crowd’s bringing and everything. It’s just an amazing feeling.”
With a semester left in her high school career, Garst said being a part of the Crockett family has meant so much to her and has left an impact she’ll be taking with her wherever she goes.
“It feels great,” Garst said about representing Crockett. “I wouldn’t trade it for the world. This school has just been so great to me.”