PUTNAM COUNTY, W.Va. (WOWK) – Tylee Oldham is a senior at Hurricane High School. She graduates in a few days trading in her Redskin uniform for a Wildcat one.
“I’m joining the University of Kentucky Class of 2023,” said Tylee.
UK has been her dream for about half her life and it all started when her grandma, Dolares began taking her to its cheer clinics.
Tylee started cheerleading when she was seven years old. Her parents, Earl and Karen wanted her to stick with soccer originally, but after one tumbling class, she couldn’t stop tumbling on the field during matches.
“We were at Laidly Field at a superbowl game for little league and just out of the blue, she whipped a tuck out on the field and everybody was talking about it,” said Karen.
With the support from her grandma, Tylee continued to regularly attend UK Cheer clinics and take private lessons. She also joined local all-star cheerleading gyms including AMP Athletics in Huntington and Tumble World in Chesapeake, Ohio. Her mentors said her skills came fast and that she was a natural.
Through the years, Tylee has competed at countless competitions including large-scale events like NCA several times and the chance to compete at the Cheerleading Worlds four times.
Her talent went unnoticed and in June of 2018 receiving an invitation to tryout for the 2019-2020 UK Cheer team.
Sixteen-hundred prospective cheerleaders were invited to tryout. Only 25 spots were open and Tylee was in.
“I wanted to cry, but didn’t cry and I just got really happy and I ran off and they all hugged me and stuff. It was so great,” said Tylee.
Her grandma passed away last October and always believed Tylee would earn a spot on the team.
“She was the one who kind of got me into going to UK for privates and then she signed me up for my first clinic there. She just meant the world to me, she was my best friend,” said Tylee.
Tylee’s performance on the mat stems to the classroom as well. She’s top four in her class and received a 33 on her ACT with a superscore of 34.
“I was just always taught that school will get me somewhere and that’s how I’m going to be successful,” said Tylee.
Aside from UK, Tylee was accepted to other schools including Harvard, which she graciously turned down. She felt it wasn’t the right fit for her.
“The funniest part of it all is she asked if they had a cheerleading team and we looked at each other and were like, ‘it’s Harvard Tylee!'” said Karen.
Tylee will be studying mechanical engineering at the University of Kentucky baginning this fall. She moves to Lexington this June and will begin training for the upcoming cheerleading season.
She is already considering grad school eyeing Berkley.