Payton Krueger

AGE: 16

GRADE: 11

SCHOOL: Pleasant Valley

SPORT:Cheerleading

COACH’S REASON FOR NOMINATION: “Payton is all about fitness and always pushing her teammates to be the best they can be," coach Megan Ramirez said. "Payton works out every day even when we don't have practice. Payton is also the co-captain for Pleasant Valley Sparkles, and she takes that job very seriously. She has been to every event and every practice to cheer right next to all the Sparkles girls! Payton is very dedicated and always comes with a smile on her face no matter the time or place. Payton is kind to everyone and always striving to be better. She never wants the spotlight but very much deserves it.”

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ATHLETE’S REACTION TO BEING NOMINATED: “I’m honored. The school has a lot of great athletes, so to be recognized as one of them feels awesome.”

STUDENT’S PLANS AFTER HIGH SCHOOL: “After high school, I hope to attend the University of Iowa.”

HER ADVICE TO THOSE WHO WANT TO CHEER: “I would suggest that they should try out even if they don't think that they will make the squad. I was afraid to try out freshmen year, but I am glad I did because it has probably been the best part of my high school experience so far. Cheer is a good opportunity to meet new people, and the Oreo balls from the pasta parties are amazing.”

-- Compiled by Marie DeLessio