Graves High 2011 grad, national champion cheers for KY Wildcats - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Graves High 2011 grad, national champion cheers for KY Wildcats in Final Four

(Source: Paul Schaumburg, Graves Schools) (Source: Paul Schaumburg, Graves Schools)
GRAVES COUNTY, KY (KFVS) -

Graves County High School 2011 graduate Jacqui Lopez can be seen on the sidelines of the 2014 NCAA Basketball Championship Game.

She is a member of the elite University of Kentucky Blue Cheerleading Squad, which cheers at all football and men's basketball games. She's been part of the squad since signing a scholarship just before her high graduation to UK, which has been a powerhouse not only in basketball, but also cheerleading for decades.

UK early in 2014 won an unprecedented 20th national title at the Universal Cheerleading Association/Universal Dance Association College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship in Orlando, Fla. UK has now won 15 championships since 1995, more than any other Division 1A school. The UK Cheerleaders also won the championship in 2012, Lopez' first year at the school. She currently is a junior.

When she signed her scholarship letter of intent three years ago, GCHS coach Jon Summerville said, "Jacqui is the first Graves County cheerleader that I am aware of to make the Blue Squad at the University of Kentucky."

He explained that she "worked really hard" and was "very deserving of this honor."

Lopez is a veteran of national cheerleading championship teams. Her freshman year at Graves County, the team finished as runner-up in the Universal Cheerleading Association Large Co-Ed Division National Championship in Orlando, Fla. Lopez continued as a member of the team when it won UCA nationals three consecutive years, from 2009-11. The Eagles also won state titles in 2008 and 2010.

Jacqui Lopez is the daughter of Jessie and Amy Lopez. The couple has taught gymnastics and operated gymnasiums for years. They have a son and four daughters. All three of Jacqui's sisters also were members of the Graves County Co-Ed Cheerleaders.

This photo shows Jacqui Lopez cheering on the University of Kentucky Blue Cheerleading Squad at the NCAA Basketball Final Four the first weekend in April. She tweeted with it, "I guess you could say I have fun on the sidelines!!"

Copyright 2014 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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