LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Miss. (WTOK) Peyton Rigdon has an animated personality, which can cause her to be misconceived by those around her.
“I have kind of a bubbly personality, I’m kind of ditzy sometimes, Rigdon said. "I remember Coach Gibson telling me one time ‘Peyton, I was looking at GPAs and I don’t mean this to sound mean but like, you’re smart?’” People find out my ACT score, which I guess is kind of high, and they're a little shocked.”
If you consider a 32 on the ACT kind of high, then Peyton Rigdon qualifies.
The senior is also tied for first in her class, something she has achieved throughout her four years at Clarkdale while also juggling soccer and cheerleading.
Rigdon has played soccer since she was six years old and has been a member of the varsity team since ninth grade.
Although Clarkdale girls soccer head coach Brandon Rogers did not coach Rigdon all four years, he shared how her hard work on the field was something that never went unnoticed.
“Peyton is very competitive out on the soccer field. She wants to do her best, she wants the team to do their best and you see that pretty much every day," Rogers said. "She’s not going to give up until the final whistle and that’s all you can ask for somebody out there.”
Rigdon also started cheering in eighth grade, but cheer didn’t come as naturally for her.
“It was very stressful because everyone was so far ahead of me and I’ve just grown so much as a person through it," Rigdon shared. "I’m really glad that I did that and I’ve even developed friendships through it because I couldn’t do it on my own."
Rigdon improved so much in cheer that she was selected as an All-American this season. Head cheer coach Brookley Gibson elaborated on Rigdon's improvement from when she first began cheer.
“It was not something she was used to. It was outside her comfort zone," Gibson said. "But Peyton worked hard to make sure that she met every single expectation or even exceeded it as far as what it meant to be a cheerleader.”
Rigdon has also exceeded expectations in the classroom, boasting a 4.23 GPA. The reason behind her success? Personal motivation and a little friendly competition.
“I do want to push myself because I have big aspirations. I want to be a doctor one day and I want to get out there," Rigdon said. "Also, competition has helped me. It drives me to succeed and do even better. Me and my best friend have always had classes together so we push each other. If she’s making a 98, then I want to make a 99.”
Rigdon hopes to continue her success as she moves forward with the next chapter in her life.
“I just want to be my best at all times. Especially with having the aspirations to become a doctor and do something with my life, I know you can’t do that with just mediocre," Rigdon said. "You have to be your best, you have to go above and beyond and work for that."
Rigdon plans to attend Mississippi State in the fall.