Keaghan Holt spent many years cheering on the Matadors.

Starting this fall, her chants will change to the Rams, as she tried out and made the Angelo State University Rams Cheer Team.

On Friday, surrounded by her family and friends, Holt signed a letter of intent to join the team.

Holt’s cheer career began her eighth-grade year and continued throughout high school.

“I was doing gymnastics for a long time, but I couldn’t do the whole gymnastics part,” she said. “I decided I wanted to be involved in my school, so I decided to try out cheerleading and fell in love with it from there.”

Already familiar with tumbling from gymnastics and having friends who were part of the Matador cheer squad, Holt was encouraged to follow her new-found passion.

“They helped me out and gave me some tips for jumps and really helped me keep going,” she said.

During a trip to San Angelo to visit a family friend, Holt visited the campus and liked the feel it had.

“It is a small campus, very friendly and I knew that is what I wanted in a college — a small, friendly campus,” she said. “I wanted it to be more like a family than a school. I really felt that there.”

Her decision to attend the Division II school and try out for cheerleading on the collegiate level was solidified after she met some members of the Rams cheer team.

“We were at a football game a few years later and my friend introduced me to the cheer team and there was this girl named Destiny, but we called her ‘Pickle.’ She was on the team,” Holt said. “I started to talk to her and she was really welcoming and encouraging and she said that if this is what you want to do go for it and don’t give up. I kept in touch with her and she kept encouraging me.”

Additionally, Holt said cheering is something that will keep her busy throughout the year.

“I wanted something that I could stay involved in while I was in college,” she said. “I went to a clinic and I fell in love with the team even more then. I got to interact with the coach and the team and I knew then that’s what I wanted to do.”

So, when the senior received her letter of acceptance to the university, she was ecstatic. However, she still had to tryout for the team.

But when the Instagram photo came out showing the numbers of the girls who made the team, Holt was over the moon.

In talking with her new teammates, they discussed hosting signing events, which Coach Kaylee King agreed to take part in.

“We wanted to do it because people don’t consider cheer a sport,” Holt said. “So, a lot of us new team members decided that we were going to have signings and we talked to Coach King and she agreed.”

Holt also wanted to use the opportunity to encourage her high school teammates to follow their passions and continue their cheer careers.

“I think sometimes we neglect college cheer,” she said. “We always push for people to go to college for other sports but not for college cheer, and I wanted my other teammates to know it is possible for people from Seguin to go out and do big things like that.”

Felicia Frazar is the managing editor of the Seguin Gazette. You can e-mail her at .

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