Neighbors 1125  

By Derrick Smith
There can be any number of people throughout a person’s life that can influence and help shape who that person becomes. A good number of times, it can be family that makes the biggest impact. For Keelie Speir, following in her aunt’s footsteps got her to where she is.
“My aunt Shelly was my biggest influence to become a cheerleader,” she said. “People say that I remind them of her when she cheered for Okemah when she was in high school. Another big influence in my life has been my coach, Leon Hurst. He has taught me to never give up and always push myself.”
Speir is a freshman at Okemah High School. Along with being a member of the cheer team, she is also a member of the cross country and track teams. She is a flyer on the cheer team, of which she has been a part of for three years. 
The road to become the athlete and person she is today has not been an easy one but she knows that it will be worth it. 
“For me to be successful, it has taken a lot of work,” she said. “There is a lot of practice and dedication. If you want to be successful, you have to be willing to work.”
Her hardwork has paid off, allowing Speir to notch a couple of honors on her belt. 
“I placed fifth at the cross country regionals,” she stated. “That allowed me to qualify for state. Also, being voted as the VYPE Most Outstanding Cheerleader for my area was a great honor.”
Along with sports, Keelie is a member of the Gifted & Talented program, student council, and is a member of Paden Church of Christ.
Keelie says that she does not want to forget about another special person that has been important to her. 

“I want to give a huge shout out to my awesome cheer coach, Sage Richel,” she states. “I am so thankful for her and for my amazing cheer squad. Being a part of this cheer team feels like I am part of a family and that is an amazing feeling.”

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