By: Hailee Nicholls
Oakley McGuire is the person I’m doing my student profile on. She’s important because she’s a cheerleader at Cyprus high school and that’s what my student profile is on. Oakley McGuire has been cheering for about 14 years and is still going.
How did you get started with this sport/activity and why do you do it?
“I got started when I was two at my private studio. I was on the competition team for dancing and the coaches thought I would be really good at cheering because I loved being at the studio and I was always flipping and tumbling everywhere I went. I spent 14 years on studio competition cheer finding what I was really good at. I’ve had injury after injury but I wouldn’t trade it for anything because cheering and stunting is what I’m good at. I’m 5’11 and look like a tree so stunting is where I felt natural and not weird looking.”
Is it hard managing school, work, and this sport/activity? How do you do it?
“It can be difficult managing cheer, school, work, and my social life but being involved with the school and the community makes it easier to keep going. The smiles and bright eyes in the crowds watching the games is 110% worth all the struggles.”
Do you plan on continuing your sport/activity after high school? Explain
“After high school I want to coach tumbling in a gym or studio to keep myself active and keep helping kids reach their goals in the sport I love. I had very influential coaches growing up who made me the person and cheerleader I am today and I want to give other kids that chance.”
What do you like about your team/group?
“My cheer team makes the best jokes. At every practice we have lots of laughs. Making great memories to have after the season is over. The girls and guy are so supportive in everything we do on and off the mat. They help with homework, personal lives and of course cheerleading.”
What makes you proud of CHS and your team/group?
“Cyprus has the biggest most supportive community. At all games, activities, and clubs we have to best and loudest crowd cheering on our students. The energy is unmatched when at a game. CHS students feed off their energy making the event special.”
How has this sport/activity impacted you?
“This sport has made the last two years out of this world. I have gotten to be on the field right next to the players screaming and yelling my heart out. I met countless friends and people who are gonna be with me for the rest of my life. Cheer isn’t just a sport I play but a part of my life I will hold on to for many years to come.”
Who is someone in this sport/activity you look up to and why?
“I look up to all my past coaches. They have taken so much time to teach me how to be the best cheerleader and human. They spend time and money on me that they aren’t required to. These ladies have been my go to, my second and third moms, and at times my safe place.”
Who has supported you and encouraged you to never give up when you feel like things are getting hard?
“My friends have always been my biggest motivation throughout cheer. The hardest time when I was 13 or 14. I had broken my L5 in my back meaning I wouldn’t be able to compete for competition and I would be sitting in the audience for the end of year recital. My friends ended up convincing the studio owner to let me run the curtains and lights for the recital so I was still a part of the show.”
Have you ever felt like giving cheerleading up? If so why?
“I have felt like cheer is just in the way of school and work. Making it harder than my very day life should be. Having to be at practice for 20+ hours a week is a lot for anyone to do.”
What was one of your favorite cheer memories and why was it your favorite?
“My favorite cheer memory has to be the times I would eat waffles while doing the mile run in the morning. Everyone would laugh and make fun of me but it was all worth the waffles.”