Sports Outside of Hickman

A look into Hickman students competing in sports outside of Hickman Athletics.

Mikayla Miller and Maddie Stephenson

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Sports have always been a good way to get to know your peers, getting involved in sports outside of school is a gateway to potential friendships all around town. Mikayla Miller of the P&G, participates in the sport 8-ball outside of school. We asked her a couple questions about the sport and how you can get started if you’re interested in playing!

What is 8-ball?
8-ball is a sport based around strategy, and angles (geometry). The game includes 15 colored balls and a white cue ball. The object is to sink all of one designated ball (solids or stripes) and sink the 8-ball before your opponent does the same.

What do you enjoy about playing 8-ball?
Playing 8-ball gives me a place to be myself and enjoy something that I’m good at other than school. When I play I’ve had people tell me that I ‘live in side of the rails’ and that I’m so invested in my games to the point that I don’t listen to what is going on around me.

How many days a week do you practice?
I practice every monday, tuesday, thursday and saturday. I play with my father who is currently one of my many coaches in the game.

How much work and effort goes into playing 8-ball?
A lot of work goes into a game of 8-ball. It’s a lot of pressure when a whole team is depending on you to score high points and win my games. It takes time to become even close to moderately decent. I’ve been playing for a year and just recently secured a spot as female MVP of Columbia. I’ve put my heart and time into the game to make a name for myself. I want people to know me as ‘Mikayla, the 16 year old who plays and plays well.’

When are your competitions? If any?
My competitions are every monday and tuesday of every week, in 16 week intervals. I do go to Nationals, which are normally held in Philadelphia, but recently the NAPA (North American Poolshooters Association) has started to make regionals, where one is in Springfield. I play to enjoy the game, and better my strategy while also securing my spot as a great player in Columbia, MO.

How can other people interested, get started?
There are many opportunities for students to get involved! If you ever have any questions, then you can find me around the school and i can always help you get started and I can also give beginning pointers.

A sport we were interested in looking more into was gymnastics so, we talked to Ava Butler about her gymnastics lifestyle and schedule throughout her years of the sport.

Do you do cheer/gymnastics outside of school?
I did gymnastics from ages 4 to 10 at Tiger Academy and Authority. I do not cheer outside of Hickman.

What’s your cheer schedule like?
Summer cheer practices are Monday/Thursday every week minus one-two dead weeks, football season practices are twice a week and basketball season practices are once a week.

What was prep for all state like?
Preparation for all state was a bit nerve wracking. I didn’t know that I was nominated for all state until about two weeks out from competition and we already started practicing for our state competition long before that. When I found out I was nominated for all stare, it made me push that much harder to perform well at state and make sure I did my absolute best.

How can those interested in Hickman cheer start?
Talk to the Hickman cheerleaders! They can ask any questions about the team,
competitions, game schedules, cost, anything. They can also talk to our head coach or assistant coaches. If anyone wants to give Hickman cheer a go, come to try outs and see what it’ll be like!

2018 State Champs, the Hickman Cheer Squad has members who participate in cheer-like activities like gymnastics. Ava Butler talked with us and told us about her experiences in gymnastics. “I did gymnastics from ages 4-10 at Tiger Academy and Authority.” Butler stated, “I do not cheer outside of Hickman”. Gymnastics in a competitive aspect is nothing like that two week long obstacle course we had when we were in elementary school. Aside from balance beams and doing countless rolls and cartwheels across the gym floor, established gyms and school organized units are two completely different programs.

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Sports Outside of Hickman