MARIETTA — Around Marietta, it’s easy to stand out when you are involved with the athletic programs in the high school.

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. 

MARIETTA — Around Marietta, it’s easy to stand out when you are involved with the athletic programs in the high school.

For Lady Indians junior cheerleader River Pierce, she isn’t just known for her trademark smile, or her giving spirit, but she’s also known for her tremendous heart she shows for everyone she meets. 

“It’s a lot of fun being a cheerleader at a school like Marietta,” Pierce said. “We struggle a lot with school spirit as it is, so being able to have a hand in making school spirit stronger is great for me. Plus it’s a great way to get involved and be active in the community and in your school.”

Along with being a three-year member of the Lady Indians cheer squad, River also currently carries an overall GPA of 3.98, and has been a three-year member of student council and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. 

Other athletic accomplishments include being a two-time state champion with the Lady Indians cross country team in 2016 and 2018, as well as being a three year member of the track team. She is also a two-year member of FCCLA and has also participated in art and choir, along with making the honor roll three years. 

But outside of her athletic and academic accomplishments, River has also donated more than her fair share of time to the community and the surrounding area as she has helped with various organizations and projects.

Among those included are the Thanksgiving food drive, Halloween Carnival, Toys for Tots, the Hatak Yearby Memorial Run, Pecan Tree nursing home, Ardmore Children’s Shelter, and various blood drives along with the Marietta Christmas tree lighting. 

“It’s not easy balancing everything I have to do,” Pierce said. “I never have a chance to really chill, which is a good thing. My planner helps keep me in line with everything, and it keeps me very organized, which I’m already a very organized person as it is.”

“I literally would not be the person I am today without my coaches (Tonya Bucher and Matt Appleman),” Pierce added. “Appleman being so strict on us has helped me stay so organized. Both coaches have really taught me though that if you put your effort into things, you will get results. If you work hard and stay on top of everything, it’ll get done the right way.”

During the month of December, Pierce was able to add one more title to her resume as she was named as the third ever cheerleader from Marietta to be named to the All-Ardmoreite cheer team. Now she has plans on making more history as the first ever Cheerleader of the Year.

“It would be such a huge accomplishment,” River said. “I put so much time into being a cheerleader on top of working, going to school and everything else. Sometimes it does feel like we don’t get noticed enough because we don’t compete as a program in cheer, but it would mean a lot to represent my community with the award.”

River said her future plans are to attend college, with plans to cheer and possibly pursue a career in the medical field.