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Hilldale’s Gillian Murphy – Athlete Spotlight – Presented By Honda of Muskogee

Written by Connor Tomlinson

On the high school level, cheerleaders are often overlooked whenever a sports team has success. In reality, they do deserve some of the credit. At Hilldale High School where the cheer team consistently sets the standard for the spirit of the Hornets, one of the most energetic cheerleaders is Gillian Murphy whose energy and skills are the results of her competitive cheer training since she was 12.

” I’ve invested many hours practicing my tumbling, stunting, cheers, and jumps plus adding extra hours outside of practice to work on all my skills,” explained Murphy. “I believe my years of All-Star cheerleading experience helped me going into school cheer.” 

The individual time she invested, according to Murphy, is made worthwhile because of the key ingredient of the Hornets cheer team-all for one unity and total support of each other. 

“Teamwork is so important in cheer because we have to rely on each other so much. Whether it’s cheers, stunts, or dances, we have to work together and trust each other to do our job, hit our stuff, and all be on count.” 

A belief in teamwork is what earns Murphy the appreciation of her coach.

“Gillian is the epitome of being a team player. She not only has amazing technique and leadership talents, but she’s also a tremendous cheerleader with fine-tuned skills and abilities,” replied Hilldale varsity coach Tawnda Warford. “She is totally selfless. And with Gillian, it’s always what’s best for the good of the team that is her main focus and goal.” 

While many people tend to think that cheer is easy, Gillian respectfully disagrees. 

“Cheer is a very difficult sport that requires a lot of time in the gym working on whatever skill you’re trying to get. You have to maintain a lot of trust in yourself to do the flip and the skill to complete it when you’re trying to throw,” Gillian proclaimed.  “Personally, for me, the hardest part is tumbling. It’s something I’m really hard on myself about.”  

Described as kind, loyal and hardworking, the personal side of Murphy is easily evidenced by her ever present smile. 

“What’s most important to me is kindness. I always try to be a friend to everyone since you never know what someone else is going through,” said Murphy. 

Murphy, who has earned a 4.1 GPA to rank among the top 20 in the senior class of 2022, smiles when thinking about her future.

“I want to work with children, although I’m not sure what career yet. As for college I’ve been accepted to a few universities but I’m really looking at the University of Hawaii, OU, OSU, or NSU.” 

Whatever her decision between now and graduation day, Gillian Murphy has one goal every day-proving to others the value of hard work.

“I want to be remembered as someone who put my all into everything I did and always kept a smile on my face no matter what.” 

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