Katie Welker may not be Payson High School's tallest cheerleader. But with a full five years of rah-rah under her belt, she is almost certainly the most experienced. And the cutest. And the youngest.
Unless, of course, there's another pom-pon shaker in the group who's already graduated from the third grade.
Welker, 8, is a Payson Elementary School student who's now in her second year as an integral part of the Longhorn squad. Before that, she spent four years do the math cheerleading for the Payson Youth Football League.
Clearly, this is an aggressive, career-minded female from whom we might all learn a thing or two.
Hence, we now present the Roundup's exclusive interview with the amazing Miss Welker.
Q: How did you become a Longhorn cheerleader? I imagine it was a long, hard climb to the top.
KW: Kind of. I knew Alicia Meadows. She's a cheerleader. My Mom talked to her about how good I'd be on the squad. So they called Sandy, our coach. Sandy said yeah, because I'd been doing it for four years already.
Q: Did she ask you to audition?
Q: Can you do a cheer for me?
Q: You're going to be cheerleading in front of hundreds and hundreds of people! You can do it for one person!
Q: Are you shy when you're in front of hundreds of people?
KW: No. I've just kind of forgotten the cheers from last year, and we're having our first practice for this year later today, so I don't know any of the new ones, either.
Q: I could teach you a cheer.
KW: No thanks.
Q: It's really good. It goes like this: "Oxydol, Oxydol, granulated soap! We're gonna win, we're gonna win, we hope, we hope, we hope!"
KW: That's terrible.
Q: How long have you wanted to be a cheerleader?
KW: Really long. I think since I was born, my parents knew I was going to be more active than my younger sister, who once was supposed to be in a dance but bawled her head off when she got on stage.
Q: Wait a minute. You say that when you were born, your parents thought you were going to be more active than your younger sister. But when you were born, your younger sister wasn't born yet! You can't fool me!
KW: I meant when she came later.
Q: Oh. All right. I thought you were trying to pull something there. So what is it about cheerleading that you like?
KW: Just going in front of crowds and stuff.
Q: Is cheerleading what you want to do when you grow up?
Q: Like when you're 17 or 18?
Q: How about when you're 60?
KW: Only if I'm still flexible.
Q: What about when you're 80?
KW: I don't think so. I'm not gonna be flexible, and I'll be old.
Q: Do you have a favorite football team?
KW: The Cowboys.
Q: So if you grow up and become a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, how much money do you think they'll pay you?
KW: I don't think they'll pay me at all.
Q: You don't think so? Somebody's got to pay them. They've got to live and eat.
KW: Yeah. I'll bet they get $10 or $15 dollars.
Q: For every game?
KW: But that would be kind of wasting money. I'll say $5 for every game.
Q: Could you live on that much money?
KW: I'd probably have to get a job, because $5 per game isn't very much.
Q: What's your favorite sport?
KW: Kickball. But one time I kicked the ball and it hit someone in the head.
Q: So I guess it's safer to be a cheerleader?
KW: Unless we're doing our fight song. I usually kick the girl that's right next to me. I usually kick her in the butt.
Q: Has anyone ever kicked you?
KW: No. I'm the person on the end. But last year I got kicked a lot because I was almost in the middle.