By Reace Downing
In the world today, there are many temptations that can lead to a start on a destructive path. Sports are used in communities as outlets to prevent these situations.
In the Carter County area, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes association, or FCA, is an influential group on affecting the community’s youth. This association preaches the word of God to young adults and students. And although it is called Fellowship of Christian Athletes, FCA is open to all people willing to come and learn about God.
One person that has been intimately involved in FCA is Rylee Sudberry. She is a five-year member of the Plainview Track Club, a member of the Plainview varsity cheer team, and a dancer at On Your Toes Dance Academy in Ardmore. Sudberry is newer to cheer, as this is only her second year.
Never having cheered before, Rylee went into high school with the excitement of new possibilities. She tried out for the team as a freshman and made it.
“Cheer takes a lot of positivity and perseverance,” Sudberry said. “It is easy to get frustrated but it is important to always remember to keep trying.
“Practice doesn’t necessarily always make perfect, but it will definitely get you closer than if you didn’t try at all.”
When she was just 15, Sudberry was forced to sit out of her sports for five months due to surgery on both knees. She was discouraged upon hearing that she would have to have surgery on both of them.
“It was tough having to watch all of my friends being able to run and tumble and dance while I sat on the side lines, or clumsily tried to participate, but I was constantly reassured that it was all part of God’s plan. I had peace knowing that it was all in His hands.”
Preparing to compete at the Regional Cheer Competition with her team, Sudberry was asked how her faith has helped her get ready for the upcoming challenge.
“Like with just about anything, cheer comes with many challenges and obstacles along the way. This has been especially true for us this year.
“My faith and hope in God helps me to push past these mere road-blocks. At times where I feel like I can’t make my body function correctly anymore, God always provides me with the strength to persevere.”
Her team made it to the State competition for the first time of its three years competing.
Rylee was raised in a strong, Christian-based family where her parents have supported her in all of her activities and taught her to try her best to accomplish anything that she was faced with. She has used her raising to keep herself positive through the grueling practices and the frustrating act of learning new skills.
“I have learned the hard way that if you don’t go into something with a positive ‘I can do it’ attitude, you will not reach your highest potential.”