Hard work sends Ouel­lette to A-state

The Saline Courier Weekend - - SPORTS - By Tony Le­na­han

BRYANT – The Bryant Lady Hor­net cheer team is send­ing yet an­other cheer­leader to Arkansas State Univer­sity for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year. On Wed­nes­day, se­nior Grace Ouel­lette signed to cheer for A-state, a year af­ter for­mer team­mate Ja­clynn Greenwood signed.

A-state wasn’t Ouel­lette’s first choice, though.

“For awhile it was be­tween Arkansas State and an­other school,” Ouel­lette said. “I ended up choos­ing the other school and de­cided to go with it. I went down and tried out and I didn’t make it.”

But, Ouel­lette got in touch with her for­mer team­mate at A-state to see her op­tions.

“I have a friend (Greenwood) go­ing to Jones­boro and texted her to let her know I didn’t make it,” Ouel­lette said. “I was up­set be­cause I had worked re­ally hard for a long time to get to where I need to be to cheer at the col­le­giate level. She told me to email the coach to see if there were any pos­si­ble po­si­tions be­cause they had al­ready had try­outs. I de­cided to email her, take the shot, what could it hurt, and she was will­ing to talk to me.”

That Arkansas State cheer coach is Paige Pauley and she was sold on Ouel­lette’s tal­ent.

“We did a try-out process over email with videos and two days later I made the team,” Ouel­lette said. “What re­ally made me choose A-state is the fact I’m not 100 per­cent sure what I want to ma­jor in, not 100 per­cent sure what I want to do when I grow up, but I know I worked re­ally hard to get to where I need to be to cheer at the col­le­giate level.”

Bryant cheer Coach

Karen Scarlett can at­test to Ouel­lette’s hard work.

“She is a fan­tas­tic cheer­leader and stu­dent,” Scarlett said. “She worked ex­tremely hard this year pre­par­ing for col­lege cheer and when her first choice didn’t work out,

she de­cided to explore other op­tions and ASU be­came the right choice and place for her to con­tinue her aca­demic and cheer ca­reer.

“Grace set a goal to get her full for col­lege try­outs and she did it. I was so proud her her work ethic and fight to achieve her goal. She is a def­i­nite as­set to the ASU team and I am ex­cited to watch her on the side­lines and then com­pete at col­lege na­tion­als.”

Ouel­lette has been a part of some pretty suc­cess­ful Bryant cheer teams.

“We’ve com­peted every year on Bryant var­sity cheer,” Ouel­lette said. “We’ve gone to na­tion­als every year. My 10th-grade year we were the run­nerup for the 7A divi­sion at state and then we went to Na­tion­als in Or­lando, Florida, and got first place in our divi­sion.

“We’ve gone and com­peted at state and placed con­sis­tently in the top 10 in state and na­tion­als the past two years.”

Ouel­lette, who even­tu­ally plans to be­come a me­te­o­rol­o­gist, ex­plained her strengths as a cheer­leader.

“I think I’m a re­ally good back spot,” she said. “I have good tum­bling as well, but def­i­nitely think (back spot) will be my strong suit go­ing in to cheer at Arkansas

State.”

Spe­cial to The Saline Courier

Bryant cheer­leader Grace Ouel­lette, cen­ter, signs to cheer at Arkansas State Univer­sity Wed­nes­day at Bryant High School. From left is her brother Luke, mother Beth, Grace, ASU Cheer Coach Paige Pauley and Bryant cheer Coach Karen Scarlett.

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