The culmination of 15 years of work finally came for soon-to-be Early High School graduate Faith Wade, who signed her letter of intent to cheer for the University of North Texas.
Wade will become a member of the Mean Green Cheerleading Team after signing her letter of intent Thursday afternoon, joining a team that was runner up in the National Cheerleaders Association Game Day Division.
“I really liked Denton because it feels smaller, even though it’s outside of Dallas and is a big area,” Wade said. “It feels like a small, comfortable place … They are trying to make high school a little more like college by adding competitions, but it is crazy in college. We have skill checks that are due every week to learn new skills and learn the choreography every week of the summer. I met a few (teammates) through my world’s team so I knew a couple of them. We’ve been talking since tryouts.”
Wade has a background in tumbling that goes back generations. Her father, Robert Wade, was a cheerleader at the University of Texas and her mother, Kristin Wade, cheered for Howard Payne University. Together, they run Seal Gymnastics and began training Faith when she was a 3 years old. Her older brother, Tim Wade, cheered for Texas Tech while her younger brother Cale is a junior at Early High School and competed with Faith at the recent Cheerleading World’s Competition in Orlando, Florida.
“I’ve tumbled with them my whole life. They were the ones that prepared me,” Wade said. “This is definitely a peak. It’s really exciting and I am blessed to have this opportunity … Since we all do it, it’s something we have to talk about and compete with each other.”
With a lifetime of accomplishments now behind her, which including multiple camp All-American recognitions and competing at world’s, Wade said one of her most satisfying accomplishments was taking eighth place last fall at the UIL State Spirit Competition as her mother, who also coaches the team, looked on.
“That was really big for us coming in as a little school and getting eighth this year,” Wade said.
While attending UNT, Wade will study speech pathology. She said working as an instructor at Seal Gymnastics with special needs children inspired her to enter the field.
“I started working with some special needs kids four or five years ago,” Wade said. “I worked with them in gymnastics and tried to see what they could do. I met this little autistic boy, who was non-verbal until he was 8. That is when I decided to do speech pathology, to work with other autistic kids and try to figure out how to get them to communicate better.”
For Robert and Kristin Wade, they are proud to see their daughter move on and continue doing what she loves while pursuing her education.
“We were fortunate that our kids loved being a part of gymnastics and cheer,” Robert Wade said. “… We never pushed our kids. We never made them do it, but they all had a passion for it and a talent for it. This has been something Faith has done since the ago of three. She has given her entire life to it. Now, that she is going to take it to the college level is pretty exciting.”