Alburtus says goodbye to cheer but looks forward to her future

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IMAGE / Mr. David Fairman

Senior Kaitlyn Alburtus (right of center, looking into the camera) celebrates winning the district championship with her teammates.

“I cannot believe this is my last year cheerleading,” senior Kaitlyn Alburtus said.

The bleachers rumbled with fans and shouts of victory filled the background.

“Its simple. I love cheering,” Alburtus said, smiling.

Alburtus, 18, has dedicated her whole life to cheering and has received countless awards and achievements throughout her career, most recently being part of the cheer team that won the Metro League title, as well as an MHSAA Division 2 district championship.

Alburtus has been a cheerleader for seven years, starting when she was 11.

“I have always had a love for cheer,” Alburtus said. “I grew up watching the high school team cheer, and I always aspired to be one of them.”

IMAGE / Mr. David Fairman
Senior Kaitlyn Alburtus cheers with her team at a competition in Grand Blanc.

Alburtus showed me some of her past cheerleading pictures, showing me the one she loves the most.

She laid all seven pictures out and pointed to the last one — senior year.

“See this picture here? I love this picture the most. This is the year we are going to win district champions and Metro League champions,” Alburtus said with a smile.

Alburtus said her goal this year went beyond wanting to win championships. It was to make memories that will last her a lifetime.

“My goal this season is to finish with not one single regret,” Alburtus said. “I want to look back on my senior year when I’m older and be proud. I want to make memories that will last forever.”

IMAGE / Courtesy of Kaitlyn Alburtus
Seniors Madison Teed and Kaitlyn Alburtus hug after the state final competition.

Alburtus showed me another picture with good friend senior Madison Teed.

“I love this picture. This is the person who I started cheer with and who I will end it with,” Alburtus said. “I want her by my side when we win district champions and Metro League champions.”

Some of Teed’s favorite memories with Alburtus where the ones where they were cheering together.

“Cheering with her by my side will always be one of my favorite memories,” Teed said. “I am so proud of the person she has become, but, most important, I’m proud to be her friend.”

Teed and Alburtus will not be continuing their cheer careers together after graduation, but Teed wishes Alburtus all the best.

“Although me and Kaitlyn will not be continuing cheer together, it has been my pleasure cheering with her these past seven years, and I wish her nothing but the best for the future,” Teed said.

After years of debating, Alburtus has decided not to cheer in college.

Her days will no longer be consumed with cheer practices and competitions, but with school work as she works toward pursing her career.

“Although I know I would have the time of my life, I want my future career to have all of my attention and focus,” Alburtus said.

I will never be able to step on the mats as a high school cheerleader again, and that is most definitely my hardest goodbye.”

— Kaitlyn Alburtus

Alburtus has not decided on a career at this point but shows interest in nursing.

“I am interested in nursing because cheerleading has taught me to be more outgoing and spontaneous,” Alburtus said. “I think my personality will be best suited in nursing.”

Alburtus said although she will not be cheering in college, her career in cheering is not over.

“Once I get settled in at college, I plan to coach either high school cheer or youth,” Alburtus said. “Saying goodbye to cheer completely is just something I am not ready for.”

Ms. Carrie Seymour, cheer coach, hopes Alburtus will stay involved in cheer whether it be cheering in college or coaching.

“There are not many cheer freaks like me out there,” Seymour said. “She is special and needs to stay with it.”

Seymour said she will miss Alburtus and it has been a pleasure coaching her.

“I will miss Kaitlyn’s help and drive. She has so much passion for not only the sport itself, but for the success of her team too,” Seymour said. “It has been my absolute pleasure coaching Kaitlyn these past four years.”

IMAGE / Courtesy of Kaitlyn Alburtus
Kearsley Alumna Danielle Struck, assistant cheer coach, believes Alburtus will be successful and have a good life after high school.

Ms. Danielle Struck, assistant cheer coach, also wishes Alburtus the best as she begins her future.

“My wish for Kaitlyn is that she involves herself in cheer in anyway possible. I know whatever she chooses to do in the future, she will be great at,” Struck said. “Kaitlyn has always had the personality that no matter what career path she chooses, she will be successful.”

Alburtus said it is hard saying goodbye.

“I will never be able to step on the mats as a high school cheerleader again, and that is most definitely my hardest goodbye,” Alburtus said. “I can catch up with teammates and coaches anytime, but never will I be a high school cheerleader again.”