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Anyone that has experienced what it means to be on a varsity cheer squad understands that when you volunteer for a position, it’s for the entire year. Cheer rarely takes any time off. From football season to cheer state and competition, the cheerleaders are always working. Owasso High School mom Shelly Cunningham knows this all too well. “I’ve had two girls attend Owasso Public Schools. My oldest daughter, Taylor Cunningham, graduated from Owasso in 2016. She was an Owasso varsity cheerleader. My youngest daughter, Reece Cunningham, is currently a junior at OHS. She is starting her third year on the Owasso varsity cheer squad,” said Cunningham. “Cheer is a year-round sport. They are constantly practicing, competing, or supporting their fellow athletes. With that being said, it takes support from the coaches and parents to help them achieve all their goals.   

"The coaches do a great job of communicating the needs of OVC to our team mom, Missy Kropp, and our Booster Club President, Angie Thompson. I mainly just try to help them anywhere I can. This past year I served on the Owasso Cheer Booster Club as secretary. This was a huge eye opener as to just how much work goes into helping Owasso Cheer achieve all their goals.”

After seeing how much work went into a program, Cunningham decided to lend her time and energy to helping the coaches and athletes. “I originally started getting more involved when Reece was on the 8th grade Owasso cheer squad. I wanted to help lighten the burden for all the other moms and booster board members. Honestly, I wish I was able to devote more time. You would be blown away by the amount of time the president and other members of the OCBC board spend working on fundraisers and other projects. Along with the team mom, they are the real Owasso Moms of the Month,” said Cunningham. 

There is a lot of joy in being a volunteer. For Cunningham, making new friends, helping other families and helping facilitate the goals of the team are reward enough. “Cheer is an expensive sport. The fundraisers help lessen this burden for families. There are a lot of expenses people don’t think about. To compete we have to purchase uniforms, music, signs, pay for choreograph and entry fees,” said Cunningham. 

Cunningham loves how the community of Owasso supports their students and teams. She also loves the faculty and coaches. “We also have an amazing administration, coaches, and teachers. You can be assured Dr. Fichtner and Mr. Duffield will be in attendance during any school events. It’s always reassuring when you see their faces. I can’t say enough about our Owasso cheer coaching staff. I believe coach Van Meter and coach Walters lead our athletes to be better all-around humans. They invest countless hours into our athletes,” said Cunningham. 

The 2020 season is here and the excitement is building but the uncertainty of what this year will look like is weighing on everyone. However, Cunningham is looking forward to seeing the team perform this year. “It’s always fascinating to watch OVC stunts and tumbling when they compete the first time. I’m also excited for stunt season. We were scheduled to hold our first high school stunt tournament this past year. It would have been a huge fundraiser for the cheer program. OVC didn’t get to finish their stunt season but were the reigning stunt champions. 

"If you have a competitive bone in your body, you will love stunt!” 

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