By John R. Schirmer
Scrapper senior cheerleader Macie Goff signed a letter-of-intent Tuesday morning for acrobatics and tumbling at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall. Goff will also be a cheerleader at ETBU.
Friends, family, other cheerleaders and softball players attended the signing day event in the Nashville High School cafeteria.
Athletic Director James “Bunch” Nichols introduced Goff and the speakers on the program.
“We’re proud of Macie Goff,” Nichols said. “She’s signing with East Texas on an acrobatics and tumbling scholarship. It’s one of the few acrobatics and tumbling programs in the nation and a very good one.”
Goff is “a special person. I’ve watched her grow up. She’s a good tumbler and a good cheerleader. I’ve seen her in softball too. She’s a pretty good softball player and a good athlete,” said Nichols, who is the play-by-play announcer for Scrapperette softball on Southwest Arkansas Radio.
In keeping with tradition, Nichols presented Goff a pen with “Once a Scrapper” on the case and “Always a Scrapper” on the pen. “It’s a special pen. You’ll always be a Scrapper if you attended Nashville High School,” Nichols said.
Kory Pemberton, Goff’s tumbling coach, said acrobatics and tumbling programs began in 2011 and have gained popularity. “About 20 colleges have teams,” she said, including ETBU. “[Monday] it was announced that as of this August, we’ll become a full-blown NCAA sport.”
Pemberton has worked with Goff since the NHS senior was 5. They’ve been together through “new skills, injuries, grades, ACT scores, deciding on a college. Her drive and perseverance never wavered. It’s hard to believe 2020 is here. I remember when you were turning 10 and talking about going to high school later. You started talking about college. I know God has great plans for your future.”
Susan Renfrow was the NHS cheer coach when Goff was a sophomore. “Macie was a flyer in junior high. When I got her, she was coming off a leg injury that limited her flexibility. Flexibility is important to a flyer. I made the decision to move her to back spot. A flyer makes the best base or back spotter. Macie walked right into it. She never complained, at least not that I heard.”
Goff became an assistant tumbling coach for the squad, Renfrow said. “East Texas Baptist gained a wonderful tumbler and athlete. She was raised in an outstanding Christian family and has a good work ethic. Kudos to East Texas Baptist.”
Current cheer coach Erin Askew said she has “known Macie since she was 4. Her mom was the cheer coach at the school I attended. I was a senior then. Macie is an outstanding leader. She led all 18 girls on the squad with pride and dignity. She put Christ first. She’s a tremendous asset to our team, and we’ll miss her so much.”
Askew said she “told East Texas amazing things about her. Tumbling at the college level is a whole new level. I’m so proud of you,” she told Goff.