3 Cheers for Bayley: Jackson, MO teen makes varsity cheer team - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

3 Cheers for Bayley: Jackson, MO teen makes varsity cheer team

Bayley James is a senior at Jackson High School, and was born with down syndrome, but that isn't stopping her from living her dream of being a varsity cheerleader. (Source: Mike Mohundro/KFVS) Bayley James is a senior at Jackson High School, and was born with down syndrome, but that isn't stopping her from living her dream of being a varsity cheerleader. (Source: Mike Mohundro/KFVS)
Now - those dreams are a reality, but only because she worked for them. (Source: Mike Mohundro/KFVS) Now - those dreams are a reality, but only because she worked for them. (Source: Mike Mohundro/KFVS)
James has been cheering for 6 years - dreaming of being on the squad. (Source: Family) James has been cheering for 6 years - dreaming of being on the squad. (Source: Family)
JACKSON, MO (KFVS) -

On Friday night, football teams across the Heartland take to the field, and cheerleaders are ready to show their spirit.

But one Jackson, Missouri teen has been working for years to let her spirit shine bright.

Bayley James is a senior at Jackson High School, and was born with down syndrome, but that isn't stopping her from living her dream of being a varsity cheerleader.

On a cell phone video from back in May, Bayley can be seen getting her ticket onto the team.

Her coach Jana Scott asked her if she's happy, and Bayley can hardly contain her joy by saying "YES!" for all to hear.

James called it the best day of her life.

In a second video, she ran down the stairs of Jackson High School to a group of friends and family, including her mother.

She exclaimed, "Mommy! I'm in!"

And the crowd went wild.

James has been cheering for six years, dreaming of being on the squad.

Now, those dreams are a reality, but only because she worked for them.

"She continues to work, not even in practice, but she goes home every night and works on these cheers, and it shows," said Jana Scott, head cheer coach at Jackson High School.

Bayley practiced all summer before her senior year with the goal of learning 10 cheers.

"Then we went to fifteen, now she knows every cheer that we're going to do, and that's close to fifty cheers. So, to me that just is inspiring," Coach Scott said.

"My coach is amazing because she makes me happy, and she makes me go out and cheer," said James.

Bayley's determination isn't just pushing her forward, but her teammates as well.

"She works just as hard as we do, if not harder. It's really important for us to support her," said Maddy Walker, a junior at Jackson High School.

"She earned her spot on this team, and every time she comes to practice she proves that she earned that spot, and that makes me really proud to have a team mate as great as she is," said Harper Guilliams, a senior at Jackson High School.

"I want to go to be 100 percent," James said.

Coach Scott said Bayley not only inspires her teammates but everyone she meets.

"I think it just shows that you never give up. You have perseverance, and you keep trying if you have a goal, and this is Bayley's time, and she's ready to shine," Scott said.

James will cheer in her first away game in Columbia, Mo. on August 18.

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Copyright 2017 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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