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

Dalton State's 1st “Coach K” ID Camp Was Successful

Dalton State soccer coach Kerem Daser says his first “Coach K” Identification Camp was a great first event that included 45 talented and enthusiastic campers. “I was so excited to run my first ID Camp at our new Dalton Soccer Complex at Lakeshore Park,” said Daser. “We had a strong group of players who were here from the local soccer community, other states and countries.” ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Lookouts Promote Andrew Zito To Director Of Group Sales

The Chattanooga Lookouts on Monday named current Group Sales Manager Andrew Zito, its director of Group Sales.  The Florida native began his career in sports as a Food and Beverage Intern with the Lookouts in 2012 and will be entering his fourth season with the team. “Being able to work his way up from an intern to the Director of Group Sales is a testament to Andrew’s ... (click for more)

Erlanger Refinancing To Provide Cash For New Children's/Women's Hospital, $50 Million Erlanger East Expansion, $8.5 Million Surgical Improvements

Erlanger Health System officials said an overhaul of the hospital's debt will include $70 million in new loans for several major hospital projects - including $11.5 million toward a new $30 million Children's/Women's Hospital. The overall cost of the latter facility is $30 million, but the hospital is seeking significant outside gifts and support. It will also pay for a $50 million ... (click for more)

Legendary Radio Broadcaster Luther Dies At 92 After Record 74 Years On The Air; Funeral Will Be Thursday At 2 PM At Engel Stadium

Legendary radio broadcaster Luther Masingill died early Monday morning at Memorial Hospital surrounded by family and friends. He was 92 and had been on the air for a record 74 years. Funeral services will be held on Thursday at Historic Engel Stadium, 1130 E 3rd St., at 2 p.m. with Pastor Todd McElyea officiating.   Honorary pallbearers will be the staff at ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Has Lost Its Most Popular Citizen - Luther Masingill

Chattanooga has lost its most popular citizen – Luther Masingill. Although we are saddened we cherish the memories.  All of us have a Luther story.  Mine is the first time I met Luther.  This was before TV and all of Chattanooga listened to Luther on the radio.  I was 12-years-old.  Some of my buddies and I had gone to the State Theater in downtown ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: UT Ain’t Heard Nothing Yet!

Just moments before Florida would seal a football 10-9 victory over Tennessee in early October, the student section in Neyland Stadium stooped to a new low when it vociferously chanted, “F*** you, Florida! F*** you, Florida!” It was shocking, a loud and vulgar display of all that sportsmanship isn’t, and served as a great embarrassment to Knoxville and the university. Jimmy Cheek, ... (click for more)