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Grandmother fulfilling cheer dream at her alma mater

By Olivia Diventi

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    SARASOTA, Florida (WSVN) — An 81-year-old grandmother from Florida recently lived out a dream she had cherished for many decades. Her journey took her back to her high school alma mater, where she once again donned the colors and cheered for her beloved team.

Mikie Harris revisited her high school as part of a cherished bucket list item.

“I was born a cheerleader,” she proudly exclaimed. “This is on my bucket list, kid. Last year for my 80th, I flew a plane.”

This year, she chose to relive her high school days by cheering for the football team, taking her back to her youthful days when she was part of the cheer squad in 1960 and 1959.

“I was on the squad from the time I was a junior,” Harris recalled. “I had a boyfriend who really cared about me. I was voted friendliest.”

Sophia Drews, a senior cheerleader on the squd, said that “bubbly” barely describes Mikie’s infectious energy. She said Harris’ presence was a ray of light on the sidelines of her alma mater’s last home game of the season.

“She’s just like a light that comes into the room, and everyone looks, and there she is,” remarked Drews.

While Mikie may not be performing stunts like in her younger days, she shared stories and moments with current cheerleaders, including Drews.

“Just how fun it was. We all had smiles on our faces when she was talking,” recounted Drews. “All the memories she brought up were just great.”

Even the young cheerleaders joined in the fun, teaching Mikie a new cheer, showing that the uniforms and cheers may change, but the spirit remains the same.

“You ready, it’s ‘The sailors are here. They’re ready for a fight. The winners will be orange and white!’” chanted Harris.

Mikie’s return to the squad exemplifies a sisterhood that spans generations.

“You’re like sisters basically, and it sounds like they were sibling, sister-like, like we are now,” said Drews.

Mikie also didn’t miss the chance to share some grandmotherly wisdom, emphasizing the importance of enthusiasm and relentless passion.

“You have to believe; you have to show passion,” she said. “I was relentless, even the principal said it. You’re relentless, but that’s how you get things done.”

Now that cheering is crossed off her bucket list, she plans on learning to drive an 18-wheeler for her 82nd birthday.

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