8-year-old Florida cheerleader performs solo, takes 1st place after teammates miss event

TAMPA, Fla. — For an 8-year-old cheerleader in Florida, the show had to go on.

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Peyton Thorsby, a member of the K-Tech Krakens in New Port Richey, went solo in a competition at the Florida State Fairgrounds when her teammates did not show up. Not only did she perform at the Showcase of Championships, but Thorsby also won first place in her division, WTVT reported.

“I was scared about everything, and I was very nervous,” Peyton told the television station.

Peyton and her fellow teammates were supposed to meet at 6 a.m. EST at the fairgrounds in Tampa, but when she arrived, only her coach was there.

“Nobody had come for whatever reasons they had had, and it ended up just being (Peyton) that had shown up so her coach said, ‘Look, like we might have to forfeit,’” Nichole Thorsby told WTVT.

Peyton was not going to walk away without trying, though.

“I didn’t really want my team to be disappointed (in) me for not going out there and not showing up for them, and so I made my decision,” Peyton told WTVT. “I wanted to go out there, and I wanted to make my family proud and all my friends proud for myself.”

She did more than that. Peyton won the competition in her division with her solo performance, defeating two other teams.

“I was actually shocked about myself,” Peyton told WTVT. “I didn’t really know I could go out and do it by myself.”

The K-Tech league was thrilled, too.

“We could not be more proud of you Peyton!!” the organization wrote in a Facebook post.

“Me and her coaches were just crying our eyes out,” Nichole Thorsby told WTVT. “I just couldn’t believe it, but just to see her out there on her own. She’s amazing.”

Peyton hopes her performance serves as an inspiration to other children.

“Jesus tells me to be brave, so I just went out there and was brave and got the trophy,” Peyton told WTVT.