Feel Good

This Eight-Year-Old Cheerleader Won, 1st Place After Her Teammates, Didn’t Show Up

Eight-year-old Peyton Thorsby arrived at the Showcase of Champions Cheerleading Competition in Tampa, Florida, on December 4th, feeling energized and ready to go for her team’s 6 a.m. call time. However, her excitement was quickly replaced by disappointment when she realized she was the only squad member present from her division. Despite attempts to contact the absent teammates’ parents, Peyton’s coaches, Leah and Nikki, were left with the difficult decision of whether to forfeit the competition or allow Peyton to perform alone.


When asked what she wanted to do, Peyton initially expressed doubts, but with the support of her coaches and family, she decided to take on the challenge. Backstage before her solo performance, Peyton was nervous, but as soon as the music began, her nerves disappeared. She gave a standout performance, even improvising a section on the spot, and won first place, beating out two other squads.

Peyton’s bravery and determination impressed the judges and her family, who were there to cheer her on. Despite challenging circumstances, her performance illustrates the importance of perseverance and rising to the occasion.

Nichole said, “The coaches told her, ‘The other teammates aren’t here; what would you like to do?’ And she said, ‘I don’t think I can do it.'” Despite hours of practice, she had to forfeit the competition.

Although the cheerleading competition occurred in December, Peyton’s remarkable story of bravery only gained attention recently when several local media outlets reported on her team’s victory. The news eventually reached the principal of her school, who publicly praised her exceptional achievement on Monday.


Peyton explains that during a recent school day, her principal became aware of her accomplishment and announced it over the classroom speaker. Peyton, who attributes her courage to her Christian faith and belief that “Jesus is right there,” felt grateful and overjoyed as her classmates stood and applauded her.

Nichole, Peyton’s mother, believes in promoting positivity in her children daily. She encourages other parents to foster their children’s self-assurance and positivity, just as she strives to do for her kids. Peyton’s spirited performance at the cheerleading competition was a powerful reminder to Nichole of the significance of instilling confidence in children, particularly during times of uncertainty.