Cheer 's Maddy Brum Opens Up About Netflix Fame, Plans for Daytona 2022: 'Working 10-Times Harder'

·4-min read
Maddy Brum as a flyer in the Navarro cheer team
Maddy Brum as a flyer in the Navarro cheer team

CREDIT: MADDY BRUM/INSTAGRAM

Cheer newcomer Maddy Brum, who was also a fresh face on the Navarro College cheer team, had no idea she'd be a major character in the beloved Netflix docuseries' second season.

"I didn't realize how much I was filmed in the show," she admits to PEOPLE. "It was very surreal, watching the screen and being like, 'Oh, my gosh, I'm literally in this so much.' "

Cheer follows the champion cheerleading team at Navarro, a junior college located in Corsicana, Texas, which is about an hour from Dallas. Under the coaching of Monica Aldama, the cheer team has won an impressive 14 NCA national championship titles in their division. The series following the trials and tribulations of the squad debuted in early 2020, quickly skyrocketing its profiled student-athletes to celebrity status and turning a lens on elite cheerleading.

The series' second installment, released earlier this month, follows Aldama and her cheerleaders as they grapple with a season cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and, later, an unexpected loss at Daytona's nationals in 2021.

Though realizing she's become the show's main character was "overwhelming," Brum, 19, says now that rewatching it also provided some incredible memories. "I was really excited to see my entire Navarro experience right in front of my eyes. And it's almost like I was living it all over again."

Brum attributes most of that to being her "true, authentic self" throughout the entire filming process. Admittedly though, "there were definitely points where I was like, 'Oh, my gosh, I said that?' But that's obviously going to come with it. At the end of the day, that's who I am."

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Most of all, Brum loved seeing her friends and family on the screen. "Seeing my grandmother speak I was like, 'Oh my gosh, nana, like you're killing it girl!' " Brum laughs.

And when it comes to her friends, she can't help but think about the impact this show is having on the viewers. "I feel like a lot of teams and a lot of cheerleaders in the world, watch it, and they can relate to it," Brum explains. "People from the outside sometimes don't realize how much hard work we put into the sport, so it's exciting to see the drive and the work ethic."

Cheer's second season also invites viewers into the lives of Navarro's nearby rivals, Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Texas. It's a friendly rivalry though, Brum insists: "The crazy thing is people think that Trinity Valley and we hate each other but, at the end of the day, we're both here for the same reasons." In fact, Brum even reveals that both teams actually have a great time together off the stage: "We just had a meet and greet with them and we had so much fun with them. It's almost like when we're outside of just the bandshell, and like Daytona, like they're my friends."

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When it comes to the after-effects of the show's streaming debut, Brum says she likes to focus on the positives. For her, social media is not about "someone pressing the follow button," it's more about her fans who've reached out to let her know she's inspired them in life and cheerleading. Those moments are when Brum feels happy that she's "changing people's perspective on things" and "leaving a positive impact on people in their sport."

As for what the future holds for Brum, she's got a full schedule ahead. Like her first year at the Texas college, Brum will be splitting her time between Navarro and CA Wildcats, a cheer athletics team in Plano. Though that may seem like a lot, Brum doesn't appear to be concerned: "Balancing [both teams] isn't very hard, because it's not something that I haven't done before. And I think I'm more prepared, balancing everything compared to how I was when I was 18 coming into the program."

When talking about Daytona 2022, however, her priorities are as clear as ever: "All I have to say is that we want to win."

Given their team's loss to Trinity Valley in the 2021 nationals, which is featured in the show, the Navarro team is hungry for another victory this spring.

"When you lose something, it makes you never want to lose again," Brum said, "So we're working 10-times harder than we were this year."

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