This season the Verdigris Cardinal cheer team was a bit younger than in previous years with only six upperclassmen on the squad. Head coach Amy Myers said that with the bulk of the team being underclassmen this would be a good year for some
sophomores and freshmen to shine and rise to the occasion.
One of those underclassmen is sophomore Reese Willhite who is a flyer for the Cardinals. Although Willhite is only a sophomore she has been active in cheer for several years and is no beginner when it comes to cheer. Willhite brings a positive energy, spirit, and competitiveness to Verdigris.
“I first started cheering in first grade for my county youth program,” Willhite
said. “My neighbor inspired me the most to start. She threw me up in stunts at three or four years old and ever since I have loved cheer.”
Willhite’s passion for cheer has only grown since her early beginnings. Now
competing at the high school level Willhite knows what it takes to cheer not only in competitions, but also by fostering school spirit at different school events and around the community.
“I think being a leader, dedication, and having a positive attitude or never
giving up are qualities that make someone a cheerleader,” Willhite said. “My favorite aspect about cheering is getting to cheer on the boys on Friday nights and doing band dances.”
Outside of cheerleading Willhite is a motivated student and is focused on her grades and planning ahead for her future after high school.
“My goal this year is to keep my grades up and make a good score on my ACT so I can take college classes next year,” Willhite said. “I eventually want to go to the University of Arkansas and cheer there.”
Whenever Willhite needs support she knows where to look and is thankful for the support she receives from friends and family.
“My mom and dad inspire me the most,” Willhite said. “They work so hard to keep our family going and I can’t thank them enough for everything they have done for me.”
Willhite also appreciates the lessons she has learned from her coaches, teachers, and the upperclassmen on her cheer team. She is taking the lessons she has learned from her peers and will look to apply them as she continues her career.
“What I have learned from my juniors and seniors this year is to be a good role model for the underclassmen and praise them when they are doing well,” Willhite said.
When asked what she has enjoyed the most so far this year Willhite had this
“My favorite memories from this year so far are the home games, they are the
best and it is so fun to cheer for a great team!”