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

Bud Selig And John Schuerholz Selected To MLB Hall Of Fame

Former Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig and longtime executive John Schuerholz became the newest members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame after being elected on Sunday to the museum in Cooperstown, N.Y. Major League Baseball's ninth Commissioner and the current president of the Atlanta Braves were among 10 baseball greats -- five players, two managers and three ... (click for more)

Baylor Defeats Lady Vols, 88-66

Redshirt junior Mercedes Russell scored a season-high 22 points in No. 22/25 Tennessee's 88-66 loss to No. 4 Baylor on Sunday at Thompson-Boling Arena. Russell added 12 rebounds and four blocks en route to her fifth double-double of the season and 16th of her career. Junior Jaime Nared recorded her fourth consecutive double-double with 19 points and a career-high tying 11 rebounds. ... (click for more)

East Ridge Meth Dealer Gets 168 Months In Federal Prison

A man who agents said was dealing large quantities of meth from his East Ridge residence has been sentenced to serve 168 months in federal prison. Kenneth Lemons appeared before Judge Curtis Collier. Agents said they made several controlled drug buys from Lemons at his residence in 2015. On Oct. 27, 2015, he drove up to a residence where DEA agents were making a controlled ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Man With 5 Violent Felonies Gets 30 Years In Prison

A Chattanooga man with five violent felonies on his record has been sentenced to serve 30 years in prison. Demetrius Joiner, 30, was given a 20-year sentence by Judge Curtis Collier after he was ruled to be an Armed Career Criminal. Judge Collier said the term would be consecutive to several state sentences imposed earlier on Joiner, including 10 years for aggravated robbery. ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Couldn't Manage Public Education

I have been reading the buzz about Signal Mountain and other small municipalities considering a move to form their own school district within their municipal boundaries.  It is quite the comedy hour considering the notion that small cities that for decades could not even manage small sewer systems or 911 districts, are somehow going to do a better job with public education ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: School Board Can’t Wait

It took the Hamilton County School board nine months before the group hired a search firm to find a new superintendent. But you mark my words – the Department of Education will undoubtedly implode if our leaders wait another nine months simply hoping for some type of mystical salvation. In the last week Signal Mountain leaders have all but given notice they will form their own district ... (click for more)