TAYLOR COUNTY—A former Grafton High School Bearcat cheerleader will be competing in the National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Championships in Eugene Oregon this week.
Brylee Knotts, the daughter of Bruce Knotts and Taylor County Board of Education member Melissa Knotts will be competing with her teammates, as the No. 7 ranked Fairmont State University Falcons (FSU) vie for a National Championship.
The eight-team single elimination tournament will begin on April 28, with four quarterfinal matchups.
The No. 7 Falcons will take on the No.2 seeded Azusa Pacific team. The tournament will include the No. 1 seeded Baylor Bears and the No.5 seeded Arizona Wildcats.
The NCAA added acrobatics and tumbling to its list of Division 1 sports for Women in 2020.
Acrobatics and tumbling evolved from different disciplines of gymnastics, which included aspects of competitive cheerleading.
The format was created at the college level to address the interest and abilities of young women competing in this skill set. During competition, individuals and small groups will execute acrobatic lift, tosses and tumbling conducted on the floor. Participation is broken into 20 events with varying group sizes.
The Falcons won the Mountain East Conference Championship and finished the season 7-1. As a result of their record and Conference Championship the Falcons were ranked seventh in the Nation.
Brylee will compete in five events in the National Championships in Eugene Oregon, as a freshman at FSU.
She told me that being a Bearcat cheerleader helped her a lot, and while she is only a freshman, it is a thrill being on a National ranked team and competing for a Division 1 NCAA Championship. It was truly a dream come true.
What Brylee doesn’t know she may be the first Bearcat since legendary Scotty Hamilton, who led the Mountaineers to a National Championship in the NIT, to have a shot at history.
For those who are interested in watching Brylee and the Falcons they will compete Thursday at 4:30 p.m. on ESPN+.