By Derrick Smith
Throughout the life of a high school athlete, they will have someone or a group of people that they look up to and model themselves after. For some, it could be a professional or college athlete, while others may look up to a family member. Reece Cunningham says that the biggest role models in her life are the coaches she has had over the years.
“My biggest influences have been my coaches,” she said. “All of my coaches have impacted my life in some way. They have taught me how to be the best person I can be on and off the mat. Character is important to coach Vanmeter and coach Walters. We are held to high standards, teaching us to be respectful, honest, and to have integrity.”
Cunningham, who is a senior at Owasso High School, cheers at her school and as a member of a competitive team. She is a flyer for her school team, while on the competitive team she is a base. She first started cheering when she was four years old with a competitive team, then when she was in third grade, she also joined the school cheer team.
While she enjoys cheering, Reece says that there is a lot of work that goes into being a successful cheerleader.
“I think the main part of my success in cheerleading has been consistency,” she said. “There are not many things I would put over a cheer practice. And when I am in practice, I want to be the best that I can be, so I am constantly putting pressure on myself. I think the consistency in my work ethic has brought me a long way.”
Over the span of her career and cheering for two teams, Cunningham has made a lot of memories that she will not soon forget. But she says bringing home a championship is definitely at the top of her list.
“There have been so many incredible moments in my cheerleading career, thanks to my teammates and coaches,” she said. “One that always comes to mind is winning state with Owasso Varsity cheer my sophomore year after we had gotten disqualified the year before.”