HEALDTON — It has often been said the heart muscle is among the strongest in the human body.

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.  

HEALDTON — It has often been said the heart muscle is among the strongest in the human body.

In the case of Healdton Lady Bulldogs senior cheerleader Haley German, her heart isn’t just strong, it’s her reason for inspiring others to keep moving forward. 

German has been diagnosed with Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), which is defined by the Mayo Clinic as “An abnormally rapid heart rhythm having an an eletropathologic substrate emerging above the bundle of the atrioventricular bundle, thus causing the heart to escalate to rates higher than 100 beats per minute.” 

Or in the case of the Healdton senior, her heart can race up to 200 plus beats per minute, in which case an electric shock is sent through her body, causing her to pass out and not remember a thing until she wakes up after a period of time.

“I was kind of embarrassed by my heart condition my freshman year,” German said. “The doctors couldn’t figure out what was going on, and I was fainting and we didn’t know what this was happening.”

“Now I just embrace it,” German added. “This is part of who I am as a person, and it gives me that never give up attitude. I know if it starts hurting that I need to slow down. But my thing is that I want to prove to 

people that just because I have a heart condition, doesn’t mean I can’t do what everyone else does or be successful in anything I want to do.”

German has gone through more than just heart surgery during her time as a Lady Bulldogs cheerleader, she also dealt with a severe case of bullying during her freshman year.

But through all the adversity she has faced during her four years of high school, German has found an escape through cheer and all the responsibility that comes with it.

“Instead of having to fake being happy, cheer helped me truly be happy as a person,” German said. “It was always there and cheer never left me. I didn’t make it my sixth or seventh grade year, but I made it my eighth grade year, and it’s been my escape from everything I’ve gone through in life.” 

German is best known for her work as a pee-wee cheer coach as Healdton, which she has done for three years. She’s also logged more than 250 hours of community service, as well as spent time decorating lockers, signs, and other activities for Healdton athletics. 

Haley has also volunteered her time for the Winter Wonderland program at Healdton, which helps make sure every elementary student at Healdton receives and a gift and crafts for Christmas, as well as the wounded veterans programs, along with time at the local food bank.

German also currently holds an overall GPA of 3.5 and is also a member of FCCLA, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and National Honor Society. 

Athletically, German is a multi-time state qualifier in track in several events, as well as making it to state her freshman year in cross country. 

She’s also a two-time All-Ardmoreite cheer selection, and was named as a Universal Cheer Association All-American selection this past summer. She is also involved in competitive cheer for the Oklahoma Outlaws Cheer and Tumble Gymnasium. 

“My Saturday’s were always taken up with pee-wee cheer,” German said. “On Tuesday’s and Thursday’s it all about practice. I’d finish my schoolwork as soon as I get home everyday, or sometimes I’d do it in other classes if I had free time. I want to go far in life, and I believe that if I keep pushing and putting my mind to everything, I know I can accomplish my goals.” 

“Miss (Robin) Needham has been like my second mom, ever since my freshman year,” German added. “When I was being bullied my freshman year, she would always tell me I was better than those people, and she would just push me to be a better and stronger person. I’ve been so inspired by her for so many years because of what she’s done for me.”

Having made her mark athletically and academically at Healdton High School, German now wants to add one last piece of her legacy by being the first ever Cheerleader of the Year.

“To all the people that have heart problems, whether you are my age, younger or older, don’t ever give up,” German said. “That’s the message I’d want to send if I won the award. Getting to be named All-Ardmoreite cheer the past two years has been a blessing for me. Anyone can do anything they want no matter what conditions they have in life. Never give up, no matter what.” 

German said she plans to attend Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant and study kinesiology, with the hopes of becoming either an athletic trainer or a strength and conditioning coach. She also plans to try out again for the Southeastern Cheer team after missing out during her initial tryout this past fall.