SPRINGER — During her time at Springer High School, senior Tatum Jolly has made a habit out of being the first to do a lot of things while representing the Lady Cardinals cheer team.

Editors Note: This is part of a series profiling the finalists for the 2019 Cheerleader of the Year award, which will be announced at the Best of the Arbuckles Preps banquet in May. 

SPRINGER — During her time at Springer High School, senior Tatum Jolly has made a habit out of being the first to do a lot of things while representing the Lady Cardinals cheer team.

For example, in the fall she will become the first Springer cheerleader to ever cheer in college when she goes to Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant.

She’s also the first ever representative from Springer to land a spot on the All-Ardmoreite cheer team.

But beneath all the history making and success, is someone who at her very core just loves giving back and building up those around her to be better, and to not let a small school atmosphere keep them from obtaining their goals.

“I’m held to a higher standard being a cheerleader at Springer,” Jolly said. “People are always watching whether you believe it or not. Being a positive influence and encouraging others is to me what being a cheerleader is all about. It’s not just about the physical aspects, you have to have a way to encourage others and make them feel your positivity.” 

“I don’t take cheer for granted at all,” Jolly added. “I knew that with every basketball game, I had to give it my all because we had so many limited opportunities. Not many kids want to try out for cheer here at Springer, but what they don’t realize is that all it takes is one to start something special.” 

Speaking of high standards, Jolly has more than held up her end of those standards not just in her cheer career, but in the classroom as well.

Tatum is the Class of 2019 Valedictorian for Springer High School, as well as an FFA officer, she was also a volunteer coach for the Springer Middle School cheer team, which placed second overall at the state competition this season.  

On top of being the captain of the Lady Cardinals cheer team, she is also a member of the Senior Co-Ed squad for the Ardmore based Oklahoma Outlaws Cheer and Tumble Gymnasium. 

In the community she has devoted her time to washing dogs at the animal shelter as part of her duties as a member of the student council, and has also volunteered with the A2A in picking up trash.

There’s also the small matter of her being concurrently enrolled at Murray State College while keeping her grades in high school at a solid GPA. 

“I don’t have a planner per say to keep up with everything,” Jolly said. “My main thing is I do certain things on certain days, so I’d always take things one at a time. As long as I didn’t mix them, then I was able to stay focused and stay on a consistent schedule.”

With her college future already mapped out, Jolly plans on making one more historic event happen as she is now going for the Cheerleader of the Year award. 

“Winning the award would show all the years of hard work are paying off for me,” Jolly said. “It would also give Springer the publicity it deserves, and it would show that good things can happen when you work hard.”

Jolly said she wants to become a teacher as well as a cheer coach, and plans to study either elementary education or english while attending Southeastern.