PRATT — The cheer team at Pratt Community College is embarking on a trip to a national cheer competition in Florida, and one member, Madison Adams, is thrilled to be part of group that has changed her life.

Adams, a graduate of Skyline High School near Pratt, said she had grown up always wanting to be a cheerleader, but was unsure if she would be able to cheer in college.

"I joined the team by making a very last minute phone call on a Sunday evening before practice started the next day," Adams said. "I originally was just going to go to school online until I ran into a friend and vocal instructor there one night at Walmart. Our conversation led to her giving me the cheer coach’s number and me calling to hear about the program. By the end of the call I knew it was something I couldn’t wait to start doing again."

Now part of a team that will compete on the highest level Nov. 7 in Daytona, Fla., Adams said cheerleading in college has changed her life.

"Being on this team has been one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had," she said. "Everyone is so supportive of one another, helpful, caring, and extremely hardworking. It is such an amazing atmosphere and environment to be in."

Adams said that to qualify for nationals, over the course of two days two instructors watched and judged PCC cheer team’s stunting, tumbling and syncopation to decide if they were worthy of receiving a bid to the national competition. The instructors also helped the cheerleaders improve on the progress they had already made.

At nationals, the team will perform a choreographed routine. They must be able to execute all of the movements cleanly in their routine, which can include dancing, stunting, running and standing tumbling, jumping and co-ed stunting. They will use the help of a choreographer to make the performance really pop.

Adams said win or lose, she is grateful for the opportunity to do something she loves, as well as earn scholarship money to support her education.

There are currently 18 members on the team.