Cheerleader at Morgan honored with silence before basketball game 20-year-old junior was found dead Friday in dorm

February 23, 1997|By Jamie Stiehm | Jamie Stiehm,SUN STAFF

Morgan State University student cheerleaders and athletes honored Sheronda Conaway, a junior accounting major found dead in her campus dorm room Friday, with a moment of silence before a home basketball game yesterday.

Conaway, 20, of Fort Washington, a cheerleader since her freshman year, will "always be in our hearts," said the cheerleading captain, Keishia Wallace, her voice breaking as she addressed the crowd at Morgan's field house. Conaway was named Miss Congeniality last year by the squad's 20 members.

The cause of death remained unknown, pending results from an autopsy that are expected in three or four days, said Baltimore police spokesman Sam Ringgold. "There's still nothing to indicate foul play," he said.

Conaway had not been feeling well, and her mother found her dead when she arrived Friday afternoon to take her to a medical appointment, police said.

Theresa Coleman Gibson, head coach of the cheerleading squad, said that Conaway had not missed practice all week and had volunteered for a Morgan basketball game Thursday at Delaware State University in Dover.

"She said nothing about being sick," said Gibson, who described Conaway as "the quietest member of our team petite and sweet, not a complainer or a whiner."

Her team nickname was "Tweetie-bird," said the coach, who added that Conaway enjoyed the name and had a Tweetie-bird bag and shorts.

Her parents told the squad yesterday that their daughter "lived and loved Morgan cheerleading," and urged the squad to carry on with plans to participate in a Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference competition next month.

"She's the kind of girl you hope your daughter grows up to be like," said Gibson. Conaway's boyfriend, Lonny Moore, is a member of the football team, she said.

Pub Date: 2/23/97

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