Sunday, July 29, 2012
While many of her peers will be watching the Times Square ball drop on TV from the comfort of home, one South Callaway High School cheerleader will get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to march in London’s 26th annual New Year’s Day Parade.
Morgan Rost of Fulton is one of about 500 cheerleaders and dancers nationwide to earn the honor, after trying out for a prestigious All American position with the Universal Cheerleaders Association.
Only the top 12 percent of girls who try out will make All American and get to participate in the parade, but the odds aren’t the only thing Rost has had to overcome. She also lives with scoliosis, an abnormal curving of the spine that at times makes the rigors of cheering painful.
“There were a lot of tears (during practice before tryouts) ... I was in so much pain,” said Rost. “During one of the moves my back hurt so bad and I started crying. The director came up and asked if I still wanted to try out and told me I didn’t need to, but I pushed through.”
Rost has danced with Janet’s Dance Studio since she was a little girl, and picked up cheering while in middle school. Now she’s going into her junior year of high school, and cheer coach Brianna Barnard said Rost is a cheerleader whom younger members of the squad can admire.
“She’s absolutely determined,” said Barnard. “She’s hardheaded and plays a major role within our squad. She back spots, bases, does groundwork for us, and I can always ask100 percent of her.”