All-American cheerleader to be in Disney parade

December 23, 2009|By JULIE E. GREENE

WILLIAMSPORT -- Carrie Loveless gave up free time with her friends and went to the gym three or four times a week to stay in shape for cheerleading.

She put in the time and work to achieve her goal of being named an All-American cheerleader, status she earned last summer during a National Cheerleaders Association competition at McDaniel College in Westminster, Md.

She earned the highest score among the All-American team at camp, got an invitation to participate in the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade that airs on national TV and got within about 10 feet of the Jonas Brothers during rehearsal for the opening number.

"It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I would definitely do it over again," said Carrie, 17, of Halfway.

The parade will air on ABC from 10 a.m. to noon Christmas Day. It will be the first time Carrie has been on national TV, and her family will be gathered around the TV to watch.


Carrie taped the parade at Walt Disney World on Dec. 6, after two days of practicing in the rain and getting up at 4 a.m. for tapings.

"It's like the highest honor in cheerleading," said Ryann Crawford, Williamsport High's cheerleading coach.

Crawford, who accompanied Carrie to Florida for the taping, said Carrie "worked her butt off. It was a huge effort."

Carrie said the trip, with hotel costs, was expected to cost $1,000. Williamsport High School Athletic Boosters are contributing $500 and she is using earnings from her job as a cashier at Sears to pay for the rest.

Carrie began cheerleading 10 years ago at the suggestion of her mother, who was a cheerleader, after gymnastics became too expensive. She is the daughter of Michele Boward of Halfway and John Shipley of Falling Waters, W.Va.

She has cheered for the Washington County Junior Football League; Maximum Extreme, a competition squad in West Virginia; and the Hagerstown Heat, another competitive squad.

Carrie became captain of the Williamsport High cheerleading squad this school year.

She is a straight-A student at Washington County Technical High School, where she studies health occupations.

She said she wants to be a physical therapist, a field she got a taste of after breaking a bone in her hip and pulling hamstrings her freshman year, Carrie said.

"I was just jumping. It did it in the air," she said.

She will attend the University of Central Florida in Orlando, but doesn't know yet whether she will cheer there. The school has a co-ed cheerleading squad, and Carrie said she doesn't like to "fly" or be tossed up.

This summer, she will tackle another cheerleading challenge -- being a camp instructor for the National Cheerleaders Association.

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