Cheerleader prepares Aloha debut Owen Brown teen chosen for bowl EAST COLUMBIA

December 22, 1992|By Adam Sachs | Adam Sachs,Staff Writer

In yesterday's Howard County edition, a headline was mismatched with a photograph of Oakland Mills High School cheerleader April Page. The headline should have said Miss Page is to perform at the Aloha Bowl, a college football game.

The Baltimore Sun regrets the errors.

April Page knows it's Brigham Young University playing somebody, but the football matchup isn't the most important part anyway.

What really matters to the Oakland Mills High School junior is that she'll be making her first trip ever west of Pittsburgh to perform during pre-game festivities and the halftime show at the Jeep-Eagle Aloha Bowl in Honolulu, to be televised nationally on ABC on Christmas Day.

April, who left for Hawaii Saturday for four days of intense two-a-day practices to prepare for the performances, was selected for the honor during a summer National Cheerleaders Association camp. She will be among 300 participants who will perform at the BYU-University of Kansas game, scheduled to air at 3:30 p.m. EST.


She'll be performing in the stadium where the National Football League plays it's annual All-Pro game, but says she won't be intimidated. The largest arena she has performed in is The Mall in Columbia.

"I have a way of blocking things out," she says.

April had the choice of performing at the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade in New York, the Aloha Bowl or a St. Patrick's Day celebration in Ireland. The 16-year-old Owen Brown village resident chose the Aloha Bowl because it fit best in her schedule.

On Thanksgiving weekend, she was competing in the national Miss America Teen Pageant in Tampa. This year, she won the Miss Maryland American Teen pageant, displaying a talent for speech and gymnastics, as well as poise during interviews and modeling segments of the competition.

April is co-captain of the Oakland Mills gymnastics team and has participated in the sport since age 4. She has studied dance in school and in outside classes since age 5, and has performed in several high school dance productions.

But her main love is the cheerleading team, which she says has improved dramatically in the past three years in its style and precision.

"We've changed from being laughed at to being appreciated," ** says April, who was the first freshman in the school's history to make the varsity team.

The years of practicing gymnastics and dance have contributed to her abilities. The activity has become more athletic, acrobatic and competitive in recent years, she says.

"We're really proud of her," says April's mother, Harriette Page, a personnel management specialist at the Social Security Administration. "She's put in a lot of time and she's very serious and committed about cheering. We hope she reaps benefits from it."

Cheerleading -- and football -- is a family tradition in the Page household. April's sister, Robin, a sign language interpreter at Centennial High School, is the Oakland Mills cheerleading coach. But April is quick to point out that she made the team before her sister took charge.

Ms. Page coaches cheerleading for the Howard County Trojans youth football league. Her husband, Ray, coaches football in the league.

April is hoping to earn a college scholarship through cheerleading. She says she's interested in Florida State and the University of Hawaii, and wants to study law.

Her ambition is to work within the political system to improve the plight of the impoverished, she says.

"I get anxious. A lot of things you see at my age, you wonder how things will be when you get older," she says.

"I feel like I should be a part of it, not just through voting, but through being active and making a difference."

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