JACKSON – 2022 Jackson High School graduate, Katelynn Webb recently signed a letter of intent to cheer for Virginia Tech this fall in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Webb cheered for the Ironmen as a varsity cheerleader for four years.

One of the most exciting aspects, according to Webb, is having the opportunity to cheer at football games at a Division I school this fall.

“Whenever I was looking at schools, I was looking for one with a big football atmosphere,” said Webb. “If you look at Jackson, we love football and we have a huge football atmosphere here, so I wanted that in college as well. Virginia Tech definitely has that.”

Webb tried out for the cheerleading squad at the University of Tennessee back in the fall of 2021 and made it to the finals during tryouts, before Virginia Tech entered the picture.

“Virginia Tech actually came about my junior year. The head coach messaged me to ask if I wanted to try out, so I just kept them on my radar,” Webb said. “Things at Tennessee didn’t work out for me, so I just put all my eggs in one basket, and I concentrated on Virgina Tech.

“I made it to day two and I made the final cut. It was such a big relief. I was super excited to know where I was going, and I was going to continue cheering in college.”

Virginia Tech is a member school in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Before her tryout at Virginia Tech, Webb was considering trying out at Perdue University, located in Lafayette, Indiana.

However, she admitted being super interested in Ohio State and she made a couple of visits to Toledo University as well.

Webb, who was also the starting point guard on the Jackson Ironladies basketball team the last four years, considered playing basketball in college.

“During the summer going into my senior year, I was teetering with the idea of playing basketball in college or cheering in college. It wasn’t until the end of summer when I decided I was going to go full force with cheerleading, and I began getting in contact with colleges,” said Webb. “It was hard, because I grew up loving basketball, but I realized cheerleading is what I wanted to do in college.”

She had a couple of schools message out to her about playing basketball, including one in Pennsylvania, as well as Wilmington.

“I did have a couple of schools message me. I knew I had to decide, because I needed to put all my focus on one or the other,” said Webb.

Webb has academic scholarships through Virginia Tech, but she said it isn’t enough to cover her full tuition.

“Being from out of state and going to Virginia Tech is expensive,” Webb said. “Because the NCAA doesn’t consider cheerleading a sport, they don’t get the funding to give out scholarships like other sports do.

“It’s unfortunate, but it is what it is.”

The entire squad at Virginia Tech cheers at home football games, but only a select number gets to participate at away games, while the squad is split up during basketball season.

Fans shouldn’t be too surprised if they are watching the Hokies on ESPN this fall and they see a familiar face on the cheerleading squad.

After college, Webb, who plans to major in Business Finance said she would like to come back to Jackson and get a job in banking, but she didn’t really know for sure.

Last but not least, she expressed her appreciation to the community of Jackson for their love and support.

“They have been so supportive, especially throughout the entire process,” said Webb. “I was super thankful for all the calls and text, as well as people being there for me throughout the process, because it is stressful.

“With a community like Jackson, it is nice knowing they always have my back, no matter where I go.”

Webb is the daughter of Kris and Julie Webb.