Sports Spotlight: Bear Grass Charter’s Chandler has grown into one of her school’s strongest student-athletes

BEAR GRASS, N.C. (WITN) – Bear Grass Charter’s Madeline Chandler is one of the top students at her school, on one of the top cheerleading teams in the state in their division.

We’re featuring Madeline in this week’s Pepsi Sports Spotlight.

“I tried out in 7th grade and didn’t make the team,” says Bear Grass Charter senior cheerleader Madeline Chandler, “I came back again in 8th grade, I didn’t let that failure get me down. I joined the team as an 8th grader.”

Bear Grass Charter cheerleader Madeline Chandler’s persistence paid off. The senior has been with the team ever since and is one of the main bases.

“You’re either throwing something or you’re catching something,” Chandler says.

“Definitely strength and endurance,” says Bear Grass Charter head coach Madeline Wynn.

Madeline learned strength by not giving up.

“I’ve always been a bit of an introvert. When you’re cheering, the whole point is to be loud and make people look at you,” says Madeline, “It kind of made me feel more comfortable with myself in front of a crowd.”

Over the past few seasons, Chandler has grown to become the team’s co-MVP and was even voted by her teammates.

“Being happy for the team, with a smile of course,” Chandler says, “Trying to communicate with the crowd.”

Chandler helped Bear Grass win the state title in its division last year and finish as the runner-up this season.

“When you come from little old Martin County, you go to Raleigh, and you’re on the big stage in front of everybody in the state,” Wynn says, “it’s a really great experience.”

“I love competitive cheerleading. That’s my favorite part of cheerleading season,” Chandler says, “I can’t see anything when I’m on the mat. I focus on facial treatments, of course, smiling. Making sure the judges know we’re happy to be there. Besides, it’s just muscle memory.”

Success is only followed by her work in the classroom. Madeline currently has the 2nd ranked GPA in her class.

“She’s a very intelligent girl,” Wynn says, “not only does she shine as an athlete, but she shines in the classroom and in her community.”

Chandler was selected as one of four NCHSAA cheerleading scholarship award winners.

“Everyone was jumping with excitement,” says Chandler, “It’s so exciting to see that kind of support from my teammates.”

Madeline hopes to bring her learning and spirit to her favorite school next year.

“I’m a big Pack fan,” Chandler says.

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