By Chloe Newsome
She walks in the gym. She stretches and warms up just like she always does, but she doesn’t know it will be her last time.
Senior Anna Dennison was at cheer practice at Cole Academy of Dance Gymnastics and Cheer on a normal Monday night on March 6. She went to do a skill she has been doing all through high school called a full, a backflip with a full twist in the air, when she tore her ACL and meniscus in her left knee.
Anna went through surgery on Tuesday, March 28, and recovery time will be around nine months. Dennison was on crutches until recently, when her leg gained enough strength to be able to walk on it again. She wears a brace all day and night for three to four months to help her recovery.
Dennison has been cheering for six years.
Since Dennison had her injury, she won’t be able to try out for the cheer team at Ball State University.
Dennison has always wanted to cheer at the college level. Since this injury, she wouldn’t be able to participate until she was fully recovered in January of 2024. Dennison would have to be on the sideline for most of her freshman year instead of actually cheering since most games and competitions are before January.
This injury has changed Dennison’s future plans. Dennison will still be attending Ball State University. But after college, she plans to go into flight attendant school.
She got injured during the end of Delta’s boys’ basketball season. She couldn’t cheer at sectionals, regionals, or semi-state.
Dennison still decided to go to sectionals at New Castle High School, even though it would be difficult while she was on crutches, where she needed help going up and down the steep stairs without the promise of an elevator.
She wanted to be at what could have been her last game as a senior cheering even if she wasn’t actually cheering on the floor.
“It was very difficult,” Dennison said. “I’m probably the one who savors moments the most, so not experiencing storming the court was pretty hard on me. But I’m very thankful for all my teammates still including me and helping me.”
Dennison has been a part of the varsity cheer team for all four years of high school.
Her favorite high school cheer memory was winning state her junior year. Dennison made many friendships through the cheer team.
“The thing I will miss the most about cheer is the family aspect,” Dennison said. “All four years I felt as if I had a second family and I think that’s super special.”
Dennison is undecided after her high school career. Dennison plans to move far away and travel to unseen places.