Published on July 16th, 2013 | by Jackie Martin
Cheerleader of the Month: Peyton Rohde
Cheerleader of the Month – Meet Peyton Rohde and find out how she accomplished her dream of cheering for the University of Tennessee! Learn more about Peyton:
FULL NAME: Peyton Allison Rohde
BIRTHPLACE: Knoxville, TN
UNIVERSITY: University of Tennessee
MAJOR: Retail and Consumer Science with a Business minor
FAVORITE SKILL: Double full baskets and hand-in-hand stunts
FAVORITE FOOD: My Mama’s chicken enchiladas – YUM!
For Peyton Rohde, the University of Tennessee is more than a school or a cheerleading program; it’s home. Growing up with a cheerleading coach for a mom and an older sister who cheered, Peyton’s cheerleading career began the day she was born.
“Cheerleading has been my life for as long as I can remember, but I would not have it any other way! I have chased the dream of being a Tennessee cheerleader my entire life!”
At age 5, Peyton became an all star cheerleader for Premier Athletics Sharks and cheered there for the next 10 years. During those years, her teams won numerous national championship titles, including a 4th place finish at the Cheerleading Worlds. She also cheered for Powell High School and was their captain her senior year.
“For me, there was never another option. I come from a long line of Volunteers. I have dreamed of cheering at the University of Tennessee for Mrs. Joy for as long as I could dream,” said Peyton.
Back to school means back to game day for over 100,000 screaming fans and the UT cheerleading program that leads them. “Without a doubt, the best part of cheering for UT is game day! From the time I put on that orange uniform, until I come out of Gate 21 after the game, it is so thrilling,” she said. “Cheering in Neyland Stadium this past year was truly a lifelong dream come true for me, as well as for my family.”
Game day in Knoxville is a more than just a game for those who love the Big Orange, it’s an all-day event! The “Vol Walk” is one of the most exciting parts of a home game and takes place outside of Neyland Stadium approximately 2 ½ hours before kickoff.
“Other than running through the T, my favorite part of the actual game day activities is cheering at the Vol Walk. Hundreds of fans line up on both sides of Peyton Manning Pass, creating a path of cheers and encouragement for the players to walk down into the stadium,” said Peyton. “Prior to the team walking down, the cheerleaders come out and perform cheers and band chants. This is where we get to really interact with the crowd, especially our little fans. I absolutely love seeing the looks on the faces of the little girls who come out and cheer with me. Seeing their faces light up is such a blessing!” After the Vol Walk, the cheerleaders run out the team through the T and continue to lead their fans with cheers, sidelines and band chants.
On top of her success in cheerleading, Peyton’s academic resume is second to none. In high school, she was voted “Most Dependable” by her teachers and “Best All Around” by her peers. She graduated Powell with a 4.2 GPA and was a member of the Knoxville Teen Board, a community service organization for students from the Knoxville area high schools.
“I accumulated over 800 hours of community service during my four years on Teen Board and was named ‘Most Outstanding Female Student’ in 2012,” said Peyton.
Peyton continued her academic success at the University of Tennessee, finishing up her freshman year with a 4.0 GPA and being name Summa Cum Laude on the Dean’s List. “I am a very goal oriented person and continue to set goals for myself so that I never stop improving,” she said. “My school goals are to continue being named on the Dean’s List for the remainder of my college career and to become a leader within my major.”
To Peyton, there is nothing that compares with being able to represent the tradition and legacy of the University of Tennessee. She believes that supporting their athletic programs and being an ambassador for her university is the job that she was born to do.
“Although I may not know every student or fan, it is likely that they may know me. It’s my responsibility as a University of Tennessee cheerleader to be kind and encouraging to everyone, even when I am not in uniform, and to conduct myself in a way at all times that would never bring shame or judgment to my school, coach or teammates. I have a responsibility for the time I am given this honor to try my best to always shine a positive light for the University of Tennessee, the people who have walked this path before me and the whole Volunteer fan base.”
From school to the sidelines, Peyton is a true leader and we can’t wait to watch her in action again this year!