Whitney Ward to Cheer For the Titans

Soddy Daisy HS and UTC alum

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Seven-year-old Whitney Ward saw a cheerleading video one day and told her mom, “that’s what I want to be ... a cheerleader.”

 Fast-forward 15 years to May 2012

 “Mom, guess what? I’m a Tennessee Titans cheerleader,” said Ward with a thrill in her voice on Wednesday night.

 The road to the top of the cheerleader world for the 22-year-old recent Tennessee at Chattanooga graduate has taken her from United Cheerleading to Loftis Middle to Soddy Daisy High School and four years of cheering for the Mocs.

 A communications major with a minor in marketing, Ward presented herself well enough to the panel of judges on the first day (three weeks ago) as she make the cut from 250 to 150 to 52.

“We danced in groups of three before lunch and they cut about 100,”said Ward whose mother, Shawnee Ward, also cheered at Soddy Daisy  “We danced a second time and I made the final cut at 52.”

This past Wednesday, the Titans made the final cut and No.34 Whitney Ward was one of the 26 names called.

“They called us in numerical order and when they called my name and number I couldn’t believe it,” stated Ward. “I told myself, ‘I am a Titans cheerleader.’”

“This is real special for me as I am one of seven new cheerleaders on the team for 2012 and as far as I know, the first Titans cheerleader from Chattanooga.”

The cheerleaders perform only at home games, but attend about 200 Titans events throughout the year.

“This is serious business being a Titans cheerleaders as we represent a big-time NFL team,” Ward stated.

“Any slip ups in any way and we are gone. No questions asked. This a big responsibility, but also a huge opportunity for me.”

The Titans organization looks for cheerleaders who can do much more than cheer, but are going somewhere in life.

“The squad includes ladies who have college degrees, master’s degrees and one even has her PhD.”

One smart young lady in her own right, Ward earned A’s and B’s throughout school, made the UTC Dean’s List three semesters and retained her Hope Scholarship all four years. In high school she received the leadership award and the 110% award as a cheerleader.

 Tuesday is an important day for Ward who signs her Titans contract and also has a job interview. She plans to settle in Nashville early this summer.

“I hope to be hired in some type of sales position and my job needs some flexibility to complement my responsibilities with the Titans.”

Ward and all Titan fans are excited about the 2012 season.

“Our home schedule is great as we open against the (New England) Patriots and Tom Brady on Sept. 9 and (Tim) Tebow and the Jets come to town for a prime time game on Dec. 17.”

Other home games include Pittsburgh (Thurs. Oct. 11), Indianapolis (Oct.28), Chicago (Nov. 4) and the final home game with Jacksonville (Dec. 30).

As Brady and company watch from the sidelines prior to kickoff 17 Sunday’s from today, Ward will help lead the Titans on to the field at LP Field for opening day and the dream of a 7-year-old will become a reality.

“Cheerleading has been a fun ride and now I am looking forward to the next adventure,” she stated.

 

Contact B.B. Branton at William.branton@comcast.net

Suns Shutout Lookouts Tuesday, 4-0.

The Chattanooga Lookouts (4-8) pitching staff struck out a season-high 13 Jacksonville Suns' (4-8) batters, but the team still suffered the 4-0 loss on Home & Garden Night at AT&T Field.    The game began as a pitching duel between Lookouts' starting pitcher Tyson Brummett (L, 0-1) and Suns' lefty Andrew Heaney (W, 2-0).    ... (click for more)

Soddy Daisy Uses Big Inning To Stop East Hamilton

The first day of spring was several weeks ago, but it certainly didn't feel like it Tuesday night at Soddy Daisy's Tom Higgins Field. With the wind whipping and temperatures in the mid 40s, it was a challenging evening for a high school baseball game. Despite the weather, Soddy Daisy hosted East Hamilton in a key District 5-AAA game with first place in the district on the line. ... (click for more)

Strong Winds, Freezing Temperatures In Chattanooga Forecast; Growers Advised To Take Precautions With Young Crops

A cold front with strong winds was moving into the Chattanooga area today and was set to bring freezing temperatures overnight. Area growers were advised to take precautions with their young crops. Temperatures were expected to drop into the 20s. Here is the freeze warning: ...WIND ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 8 AM EDT /7 AM CDT/ THIS MORNING TO 8 PM EDT /7 PM CDT/ THIS EVENING... ... (click for more)

Zachary Bryant Was 6-Year-Old Killed Monday At Chattanooga Valley Elementary

Zachary Bryant has been identified as the 6-year-old boy who was killed after being run over by a school bus on Monday at Chattanooga Valley Elementary School. Authorities said the kindergarten student had just gotten off the bus when it moved forward and struck him. Walker County coroner Dewayne Wilson said he was killed immediately in the 7 a.m. incident. Funeral ... (click for more)

What's Wrong With The City Recycle Program? - And Response (2)

Being new to recycling, I have lots to learn.  I rely on 311 and the attendants at the neighborhood collection centers to assist in building my knowledge.   Recently, I had an experience that makes me reconsidered my recycling efforts.  I loaded up my car, called 311 to verify what I could take, only to be blocked by the attendant at my neighborhood collection ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: That Billboard & Much More

Now that early voting has started and our strawberries have hopefully survived this last blush of winter, allow me to catch up on some things but, first, here’s a letter from a concerned reader I feel compelled to share: “There is something I have noticed throughout Brainerd, East Brainerd, Dayton, etc. A billboard has been put up, I believe by the Health Department of Hamilton ... (click for more)