By Derrick Smith

Athletes put in many hours of practice and work in order to become better at their sport. And while that time is important to their development as an athlete, they also depend on other people to help them stay focused and on track. Emma Galligher says that her parents are the ones she leans on when things get tough.

“My parents have kept me going,” Emma said. “And they have pushed me to be the best I can be in everything I do. I know that without their support, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today.”

Galligher is a senior at Barnsdall High School. She is a back spotter on the Lady Panther’s cheer squad. She began cheering when she was in grade school and has been a varsity cheerleader for three years.

While she enjoys being a cheerleader, Emma says that it has taken a lot to get where she is today. “It takes showing up every single day,” she stated. “You have to put in the work needed to make the squad as strong as they can be.”

She has enjoyed some great time while in cheer, but for Emma, being on the sideline during a big moment for the school’s football team is something she will not forget. “I was a great honor to become captain of the cheer squad,” she said. “Also, we were able to cheer for the Panthers football team as they went further in the playoffs than they had been in decades.”

As a student at BHS, Galligher has had many teachers, but she says that one teacher stands out as her favorite. “Mrs. Grant is a great teacher,” she stated. “She has taught me how to be more patient over the past four years, both with art and in life.”

Along with cheer, Emma is also a member of the Student Council and a manager for the varsity girls basketball team. With the end of her senior year winding down, Galligher already knows what her next step will be.

“I am excited to be continuing my cheer career at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas this fall.”

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