Seymour senior stays busy during the winter between cheerleading and gymnastics


Grace Rueger doesn’t have many days this winter when she isn’t heading to a gymnastics or cheerleading practice.

“I’m very busy, so there’s not much free time,” said Rueger, who is in her fourth season as a member of the Seymour cheer squad and added gymnastics to her list of activities this winter.

Rueger wanted to join the gymnastics team earlier in her high school career, but this being her senior year, she decided it was now or never.

She has competed on floor exercise, beam and vault.

“It has been awesome,” Rueger said. “My background in cheer helps a lot, especially on the floor. I’ve been tumbling since seventh grade. Floor is my favorite event. My best score is 8.375. Tumbling is natural to me. The dancing isn’t bad, but it’s not what I specialize in.

“It’s nice to put your own personality into it. I specialize in the skills aspect of it — tumbling and jumps. That’s easier for me. I’ve been working up new skills on floor, trying to raise my score. That’s probably my main event. I hope to continue at least to regional. I did competitive cheer for a couple years and that helped me get my tumbling skills, so I’ve always been advanced in that.”

The senior also has enjoyed working on the beam.

“I’ve been getting a lot better,” she said. “When I first started, I didn’t have any skills, so it was mainly figuring out what skills I could do on beam, and once I got those skills, I’m figuring out how to score.”

One of the big differences between gymnastics and cheer is the competition, Rueger said.

“It’s different than cheer because with cheer, you really don’t get your own spotlight,” she said. “It’s more of a performance thing. You just go out with your team and perform, where in gymnastics, you get to compete.”

Her’s mother, Julie, is the head cheer coach. Grace began her cheerleading in North Carolina in elementary school.

Rueger is one of the cheer captains this winter.

“I just like being involved in the community, getting the crowd involved in the game,” she said. “Cheerleaders really have the power to influence, so it’s like getting everyone involved in what’s going on.”

The cheerleaders cheer for all of the home boys and girls basketball games.

“Pregame is a lot of fun, especially when there is a big crowd and the band is there,” Rueger said. “They play songs and we dance for the crowd, and that’s fun. It’s fun to stunt and show off different skills and things we have.”

Rueger also cheered at the football games.

She said she has enjoyed being a student at SHS.

“I like the community support behind all the athletics and things like that,” Rueger said. “There is a big part of the community devoted to SHS and everything that is has to offer. That connection is really special.”

Some of Rueger’s best memories at SHS have been through athletics.

“I’ll definitely remember my teammates and everyone I’ve been involved with, the girls I’ve cheered with all four years and the new girls I’ve met on the gymnastics team,” Rueger said. “My teachers have definitely made a big impact at several points in my life, helping me through things and stuff like that. They’re more than just teachers. They’re there to help you through life.”

In the spring, she plans to try out for the Crimson Squad at Indiana University.

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”Rueger file” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

Name: Grace Rueger

High school: Seymour

Parents: Andy and Julie Rueger

Siblings: Bryce, Brock and Emma Jo

Sports: Cheerleading, four years; gymnastics, one year

Athletic highlight: Serving as captain for the cheerleading squad

Organizations: National Honor Society, student athletic board, Big Brothers Big Sisters

Plans after high school: Attend the Indiana University Kelley School of Business

Favorite food: Pasta

Favorite TV show: "The Vampire Diaries"

Favorite musician: Post Malone

Favorite movie: "The Greatest Showman"

Favorite team: Indiana University cheerleading


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