From First Summer to UNCW: ‘Beach Kids’ Have a Strong Work Ethic…

Published on Wednesday, January 18, 2023 at 4:30 p.m

Shelby Miller, Brylie King and Hayley Miller are cheering for the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. All three graduated from First Flight High School, where they were also cheerleaders. Photo by Daryl Law

Flyer Hayley Miller, top center, flashes a big smile above her teammates in this pyramid. He says the “beach boys” have a strong work ethic. Photo by Joseph Buck

Cheerleaders Hayley Miller and Lance Lockamy lead a cheer during a UNC-W men’s basketball game. Photo by Rodney Williams

Hayley, left, and Shelby Miller are senior men’s basketball cheerleaders at UNC-W. Photos by Melissa Cook

Flashing the loose sign, Honors College student Brylie King, last year’s valedictorian at First Flight High School, enjoys cheering for UNC-W while pursuing a degree in environmental science. Photo by Emily Weber

Shelby and Hayley Miller are flying high as Seahawks cheerleaders at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. With the men’s basketball team making a big run this season, these two “beach kids” led the cheerleading squad.

His stunts, tumbles and pyramids thrill raucous crowds at Trask Coliseum during home games. In fact, the twins, in navy blue uniforms, cheered everyone up last Wednesday night, Jan. 11, when the Seahawks lost to College of Charleston 71-69.

The loss snapped UNCW’s 13-game winning streak, which was the longest in program history and the best in Division I basketball nationwide so far this season.

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Shelby and Hayley shine in these sold out games. Videos posted online by their mother, Beth Morrell Miller, show the girls atop tall pyramids or doing flips along the runway.

“It’s a hand jump back,” Shelby said. “I can do more than 10!”

They’re a real crown jewel, notes Hayley.

“People like to see as many as you can!” he pointed out

The girls, who are seniors, will need to bring their best to the big game Saturday night when they host William and Mary.

They explained that cheer at UNC-W is not a varsity sport, but is considered a spirit group like a band, Shelby said. There are actually two cheerleading squads: the mixed blue squad and an all-female Teal squad.

Another former First Flight High School cheerleader made the Teal team this fall, Class of 2022 senior Brylie King. King, an environmental science major, hopes to move on to men’s basketball next year.

He explained that the program is set up as a varsity and junior varsity, with all members of the Teal team being freshmen. After graduating from First Flight last June, King first thought about ending her cheerleading career.

“‘I’m done,'” she told herself. “Then I saw open evidence… Glad I did!” His first year is going well and he likes all his classes. It’s been nice to take a break from working at Publix in Kill Devil Hills, where he’s worked since he was 14 years old.

King is also pretty good at lacrosse and has considered playing club ball at UNC-W. Hayley also mentioned that another former First Flight cheerleader, Koral Tucker, also made the Seahawks team, but retired this year.

So why do Outer Banks and First Flight student-athletes do so well cheering for this university? Yes, the Nighthawks’ coaches and program are strong, but is there something more?

The Millers say “Yes.” It’s called work ethic. Work ethic instilled during long shifts at restaurants, grocery stores, lifeguarding and the like.

“I think the Outer Banks kids have a good work ethic,” Hayley said. “A lot of kids in Wilmington have never worked a day in their lives.

“I think the Outer Banks made us people with a strong work ethic,” he added.

And the Miller twins, as they’re sometimes called, have made the most of that trait in their daily lives at school and on the court cheering on the Seahawks.

“I’m happy in Wilmington,” Hayley said. “I think Katie [Wallin] has brought a lot of new things.”

This new coach was hired last July and has become more involved overall and worked on major projects like on-campus housing for her athletes, Hayley said.

But both Shelby and Hayley are proud of what they’ve contributed to the team, which also includes men.

“It’s a lot of work for us,” Hayley said. “We take care of the choreography.”

While most college students enjoyed their last week of Christmas vacation visiting ski resorts or tropical locales, these cheerleaders returned to Wilmington for a full week of internships.

But then again, hard work is the norm for these three cheerleaders. Shelby knows she’s back to work six nights a week at her family’s restaurants after she graduates in the spring.

He works at American Pie Pizza and Homemade Ice Cream and Hayley works at Miller’s Seafood and Steakhouse across the street in downtown Kill Devil Hills.

Eventually, Shelby hopes to open her own counseling practice after completing her master’s degree. Hayley plans to return to Miller full-time, where other members of her family also work six nights a week, including her father Brian.

It’s inside these restaurants that are packed with hungry, sunburned vacationers that some of the lessons about hard work are learned. Others, like cheerleading or lacrosse, are learned in other ways, even on travel teams.

“We have to work hard to get what we want,” Shelby said. “If that means going to Virginia, go get him!”


What leg do you fly on cheer?

You will most likely feel more comfortable standing on your right leg, as most Flyers use their right foot to fly. However, in a pyramid you may be asked to fly to the other foot depending on which side of the pyramid you are on. Read also : New Dallas Cowboys cheerleader Karley Swindel takes center stage at the Meet the Team event. So practice your skills with both legs.

Is it easy to be a happy flyer? MYTH: Being a flyer is less work than being a baseman. TRUTH: Although the bases have the strenuous job of lifting, catching and keeping the flyer safe, the flyer position also requires plenty of physical effort. Flyers need to practice over and over how to stay solid with their leg locked.

What is the most difficult cheerleading position? What is the most difficult position in animation? Many people would say that the most difficult position for cheerleaders is the base. Every stunt needs a solid foundation to succeed! Bases must have a solid base, solid grips, and be able to take shuttlecocks at any point in the routine.

What is the position of the steering wheel on cheerleaders? The shuttlecock is the one who makes the change, taking the foot off the hands of the bases and placing the other foot in the same place to be caught by the bases. It can also be called a tick-up.

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What stunts are illegal in cheerleading?

Exception: Side stunts i.e. Arabesque, Scorpion, front twisting double cradles are legal. See the article : Gabrielle Union teases ‘Bring It On’ sequel in cryptic tweet. Front, rear and side voltage drops are prohibited. All leg, toe, walk-in, sponge and catch throws to the performance surface are prohibited.

Are basket throws illegal to cheer? This skill is illegal for high school teams. It has been illegal for over 30 years. Only allowed for varsity and All Star teams starting at level 7.

What stunts are illegal in high school cheerleading? This division prohibits all standing and/or running laps. This includes forward and backward rolls, cartwheels, rounds, handsprings, tucks (flips), etc. Connected skills and/or within stunts are allowed.

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