SALINE COUNTY, Ark. — Gracie Marley has loved her experience as an athlete at Harmony Grove Haskell. Especially her decision to pick up tennis before the start of her senior year.

"I wanted to do it back in 11th grade," she said. "I didn't have time and all my friends did. It just looked so fun. And it truly was fun."

But her passion has always been cheerleading. She started cheer when she was in first grade and strives to be a role model when she's on the sidelines.

"The one thing I love is that when I'm out on the field and people are looking at me, I feel like I inspire other people to be a cheerleader, and to be not just a pretty face," said Marley. "Somebody who can do all the cool stuff, and be somebody who is nice and kind and somebody who wants to be a better person in the world."

Her positive attitude is something that she attributes to her coach.

"Personally, I would like to thank my cheer coach Ms. McNulty because she brought me out of my comfort zone," said Marley. "I used to be a really shy and timid person but now I speak my mind more because she's helped me."

After graduation, Gracie will be attending Pulaski Tech. She's not sure what she'll study yet, but she knows she enjoys psychology, sociology, and children.

"It was just as close to home," she said about her decision to go to Pulaski Tech. "They have good programs there too that start you out and you can transfer somewhere else if you want."

As Gracie moves forward, she wants to thank her friends and teammates for all of their support.

"I would like to thank them for just believing in me," she said, "and helping me become a better leader."