By Payton Moody
Meet Haylee Connelly, an exceptional cheerleader representing Durant High School. With unwavering dedication and a heart full of passion, Connelly has transformed the role of cheerleading in her life from a sport into a way of life. From her favorite coach to her goals for the future, Connelly’s journey showcases a spirit of resilience and determination that has left a mark on her teammates, coaches, and community.
Throughout her cheerleading journey, Coach Lou Ann Lively has been a steadfast pillar of support for Connelly. “Coach Lively has had a positive impact on my life not only as a cheerleader but as a student as well,” she said. Under Coach Lively’s guidance, Connelly has embraced the value of giving her all, regardless of the circumstances, and safeguarding her love for the sport.
Reflecting on her teammates, Connelly holds Pazlee Hankey in high regard. “She showed me how to become a great leader and always supported not only me, but our teammates as well,” Connelly said.
Mrs. Wright, Haylee’s favorite teacher, nurtured her love for learning and provided invaluable support.
“She helped me to enjoy learning about new things,” Connelly said.
The off-season has been a time of preparation and improvement for Connelly. “I have worked on my cheerleading skills including my jumps, my tumbling, and my flexibility,” she said.
Cheerleading’s lessons extend beyond the field for Connelly. “Cheerleading has taught me to try my hardest every day no matter what the circumstances may be, and to never give up,” she said.
As this season unfolds, Connelly aspires to master new stunts and skills while fostering strong bonds within the team. “Creating amazing memories and true friendships is the goal,” she said.
Looking ahead, Connelly’s dreams are as ambitious as her spirit. She envisions pursuing a master’s degree in business, obtaining a real estate license, and eventually establishing her own successful real estate business. As she paves her path, Connelly also hopes to embark on unforgettable adventures around the world, embracing every opportunity that life presents.