Sherry Gayle Guyton was born to Phyllis and Bob Guyton in Oxford, Mississippi, on February 3, 2000. Bob had a reputation in town as a good businessman who would give you a fair deal on your trade-in at his Honda franchise on University Avenue. Phyllis had been an active part of getting the dealership started, and once it was turning a profit, she left the family business and went into the business of family.
Sherry was the eldest of three children and the only girl. As a toddler, Sherry never stopped dancing. As soon as she reached the minimum age to enroll in dance classes, her parents signed her up. Four-year-old Sherry loved her weekly lessons and practiced "brush, brush, step" until her mother begged her to stop.
By the time she was old enough to perform more complex steps and entire routines, she had a built-in audience of two little brothers. But as Sherry became more proficient, the attention span of her built-in audience had drifted away to their own interests. Sherry tried to convince them dancing was performed by outstanding athletes such as Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, but her father teased that she hadn't inherited his talent of persuasion since her brothers weren't buying what she was selling.
She may not have had her father's natural sales ability, but Sherry did excel at school, and she made it look effortless. In reality, she spent long, late hours on her studies, even in high school when it became more difficult with all of her extracurricular activities, which she felt were necessary for a standout college application. Sherry's goal was to attend a good university and advance to medical school.
At the beginning of high school, she thought cheerleading would be a good fit for her because of her background in dance. She won a spot on the frosh team the same year as Katy Brown, and they became competitors and friends.
While she and Katy weren't close, they cooperated as good team members except for one drastic difference: Sherry had taken up smoking in her junior year. It really upset Katy, who was vehemently anti-smoking, and it resulted in many long and heated discussions between the two girls.
That difference of opinion became insignificant last year when disaster struck. While rehearsing a new, complicated routine for an upcoming playoff game, Sherry fell and broke her ankle in several places. She had hoped to return to the cheer squad at the start of her senior year, but following surgery, the doctor prohibited Sherry from any further participation in cheerleading.
Sherry was devastated. She sobbed to her mother that she'd never get into college now and it was all Katy's fault for letting her fall. Katy denied any responsibility, saying Sherry was the one who lost her balance, so Sherry herself was to blame.
Even though Sherry wasn't cheering with them anymore, everyone on the squad knew about the bitterness between her and Katy because neither girl was shy about expressing her feelings.