"Competitive cheerleading is the toughest sport. Its not just pretty girls in short skirts anymore. In the summer, even some football players cheer to stay in shape.
"At Salem, we had four hour practices, three days a week. And we had six hour practices on weekends. In addition to the practicing, you have pep rallies. Its more than just playing offense or defense. As a cheerleader you have to remember every dance and every cheer you've ever done. Its a lot of hard work and dedication," Koelling said.
The Salem graduate will attend Williams Baptist College this fall and has received a scholarship to be on its cheerleading squad.
Wanda Koelling said cheerleading takes more dedication than people know.
"Being a cheerleader, she is involved with all the sports; not just one. She loves to talk and likes being in front of people," MaKollie's mother said.
That dedication will be needed to achieve her dreams. MaKollie wants to stay at Williams all four years, and maintain a 3.5 grade point average. After getting her bachelors degree, Koelling wants to go to medical school to become a doctor.
"I've always wanted to be a doctor. My mom had cancer, and my best friend has recently gotten cancer, so I might want to specialize in cancer treatment. But people are always getting sick, so I might specialize in something totally different," Koelling said.
In high school Koelling had a 3.49 grade point average and scored a 21 on the ACT test. In addition, she graduated high school with 23 college credits that she earned though concurrent classes. She said she tried to get as many credits as she could to shorten the time she has to be in school.
When deciding which school to attend, Koelling chose Williams for several reasons.
"Its a small school with good Christian morals and aspects," Koelling said. MaKollie also wanted to go to Williams because that is where her cousin, Salem high school teacher and softball coach Tesa Nelson attended.
Nelson said she is very close to Koelling and that Koelling is a good cheerleader.
"She's like my little sister. Ever since I've been teaching and coaching at Salem our relationship has really grown." Nelson said. "She's one of the best cheerleaders in the area. She puts in so much time and effort. She has that bubbly personality that can get the crowd fired up. But she also does the little things behind the scenes."
Susan Watson is the cheerleading sponsor at Williams Baptist and she said she is excited for MaKollie to be on the squad.
"I learned about her through the admissions office. Then she came for a try out and made the team. She has a great attitude and will bring a great work ethic to the team," Watson said.