GALLIPOLIS — The Gallia Academy cheerleading program is seeking to honor the memory of Ryelee Sipple, a GAHS freshman who recently passed away in a vehicle crash.
Cindy Angel, director for the cheer program wanted to help continue Sipple’s memory and gave her students the chance to help honor their classmate. Angel remembered the decorated rocks with encouraging sayings hidden around town, and wanted to emulate that with Sipple.
“We thought about different things to mark and hide, we thought about rocks but they take too long to paint, she played volleyball but those are too big, but softballs are perfect for Ryelee,” said Angel.
Each softball has her name written on it and a word that describes her. They have all been hidden in public places in the Gallipolis area. According to Angel, the purpose of the hidden softballs is for the public to find them, take a picture with themselves and the ball, share it on social media tagging GAHS Cheer, and then re-hiding the softball in a public place or putting it back where they found it.
“They’re supposed to take a picture with the softball, tag GAHS Cheer on social media, and then hide it back where they found it or hide it somewhere else for somebody else to find so we can spread her love,” said Angel.
Sipple was known for her athletic talent and performance in the classroom. As a freshman she earned five varsity letters and was ranked first in her class academically. While she was certainly regarded well for her athletic and academic records, Sipple will also be remembered for her character.
Each softball features a word that describes her: loving, genuine, courageous, happy, unique, beautiful, and adventurous. These are words her fellow classmates chose to describe her as.
“We just wanted to do some sort of tribute to Ryelee on behalf of Gallia Academy Cheer. While she wasn’t a cheerleader obviously, she was definitely somebody that touched the lives of every one of our girls, so we wanted to pay our respects,” said Angel. “Ryelee obviously impacted many lives, and we would like her memory to go on.”
Reach Morgan McKinniss at 740-446-52342 ext 2108.