Heritage's Johnson to cheer for Alabama
Heritage's Caroline Johnson continues to overcome the odds to live out her dream.
The 2015 Heritage High School graduate, who weighed barely one pound when she was born, and has a paralyzed vocal cord, may not be the loudest on the squad.
However, her mother Julie Johnson said her daughter is one of the most determined.
"Caroline is the cheerleader that is very quiet, but that does not stop her," she said. "Her voice may be quiet but her presence on the field is loud."
Caroline began cheering at age 4 and cheered all through middle and high school.
She's now going to test her skills on the collegiate level after being selected as one of 11 women on the 23-person University of Alabama national championship cheerleading squad that includes only three freshmen.
Caroline, recently named to the Inside Cheer magazine All Star All-American team sponsored by Infinity, said she cannot wait for the next chapter of her life to begin.
"The thing I love most about cheer is being a positive role model to younger athletes," she said.
Alabama cheer coach Brian Groeschell said Caroline is a great addition to his team. He said she made an immediate good impression when they first met in March of last year.
"We knew right away that she was talented, hardworking and just the type of athlete we wanted in our program," he said. "She took her second visit to campus in November and we learned more about her family and her academics. That visit solidified our desire for her to join our program. "
"It was obvious that she came from a wonderful family with high morals and character, was an excellent student and someone who we would love to have represent our program and the University of Alabama."
Caroline is graduating from Heritage with a 4.0 GPA, three academic letters, is in the Beta
Club, National Honor Society and has served as a member of student government for four years.
Over the years she has cheered locally for United All-stars and in Cartersville for the Devil-Ray All-stars. This past year she cheered on a World team for Stingray Allstars out of Marietta, where she was able to travel to Indianapolis for the Majors competition in Jan. 2015 (the most selective all-star competition in the world). Her team, Stingray Steel, also competed in Louisville, where they earned a fully paid bid to the World in Dallas and went on to win UCA International Competition in Orlando and competed at the World.