Sioux City, Iowa -- Kilee Watson has done what most football fans only dream of. She’s been to two Super Bowl games, not as a fan in the stands but on the field.
The East High School alum has been part of the Kansas City Chiefs Cheer Team since 2018, giving her the ultimate vantage point on one of the NFL’s most-winning organizations. Over the last five years, Kilee has cheered in 55 NFL games including five AFC Championship games and two Super Bowls.
When Kilee isn’t donning red and gold, she is teaching. Kilee has taught both second grade and PE in the Kansas City area.
“I had an unconventional journey after high school. I attended UNL for my first year of college but then decided I wanted to be closer to home,” recalls Kilee, who was active on East High’s cheerleading, dance, and track teams in high school. “From there I took a year of classes at Western Iowa Tech Community College and then finished school with my bachelor of science in education from the University of South Dakota.”
A chance to attend a cheerleading camp led by the Kansas City Chiefs organization was too good to pass up. Kilee fell in love with the Chiefs’ culture and dove into what it took to be on the team. She tried out for the team in 2017 but fell short, instead landing a spot on the Chiefs Cheer training team. The experience only made Kilee work harder.
In 2018, Kilee made the Chiefs Cheer Team and began what’s been an unforgettable adventure over the last five years.
The experience has led Kilee on overseas trips with the organization and even a military tour, allowing Kilee to surprise trainees at Fort Jackson Army base in Columbia, South Carolina. But it’s the Chiefs’ success on the field that has made countless memories.
“I never in my life thought I would be cheering on the sidelines in a Super Bowl. I feel so grateful to have these experiences and to be able to share those with my family, friends, and students,” says Kilee. “One special memory from this past year was that Chiefs Cheer was celebrating its 60th season. Our alumni are a huge part of our program, and they are always there cheering on the current team.”
Balancing her career as a teacher along with her commitment to the Chiefs franchise has taught Kilee the importance of time management. She credits the Chiefs organization with helping its team members be successful both on and off the field.
“I am someone who loves schedules, so I made sure I would get my teaching duties done on days we didn’t have practice and then, in turn, focus on the Chiefs on the days we did have practice. Ultimately, the key is surrounding myself with people that are always willing to help out when I need it,” adds Kilee.
When she’s not teaching or at a Chiefs’ game, Kilee spends time with family and friends – and in the gym. She is passionate about showing dancers’ athleticism.
“Strength training helped me become stronger than I thought I could be. It is crazy to think that strength training allowed me to be at my best as a dancer at age 31,” says Kilee.
As the first Sioux City Community School District alumnus to make an NFL cheer team, Kilee is also adamant about the importance of pursuing dreams.
“Dreams are important to have. They allow us to find our purpose,” says Kilee. “I was terrified to take the leap and audition for an NFL team. I knew if I didn’t use my strength as a dancer to pursue my dreams, I would regret it one day. I am so glad I listened to my heart and went for it because it gave me memories to last a lifetime. No dream is too big.”