Fla. trip gives Key High girls lots to cheer about


January 17, 2002|By Jean Marie Beall | Jean Marie Beall,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

FOUR FRANCIS SCOTT Key High School cheerleaders returned from their trip to the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla., grateful for the experience.

Erica Hesson, Jessica Hickman, Melissa Oliveri and Ashley Zimmerman earned spots in the halftime show New Year's Day after attending a cheerleading camp run by East Coast Cheerleading Academy last summer.

The Citrus Bowl turned out to be as exciting as the girls had hoped.

"It was a very fun experience and everyone was real nice," Erica said. "It went a lot better than I thought it would."

The girls left Maryland on Dec. 27. When they arrived in Orlando, they signed in and received red, white and blue cheerleading outfits.

"They gave us a green bracelet, which everyone had to wear," she said, noting the bracelet provided access to the stadium.

The girls practiced from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. the two days before the show.

Then, show time.

"I thought I had it down pretty well," Erica said.

"I expected it to be a lot harder," Ashley said.

Two of the cheerleaders, however, had to leave early and didn't get to perform in the show.

Melissa and Jessica learned that four of their friends - also Key cheerleaders - had been in a car accident. One of the four, the girls' best friend, was flown to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. Melissa and Jessica took the first flight out Dec. 29.

"My experience down there was a lot of fun, even though it was shortened due to the accident," Melissa said. "Although I missed out on the Citrus Bowl, I do not regret coming home to my friends. My best friend is more important than the Citrus Bowl."

For Melissa, the trip was her first time on a plane and her first time in Florida.

"Flying on a plane was really exciting for the first time," she said. "When we went above the clouds it was a really pretty sight."

The girls also visited Walt Disney World.

"Disney World was a blast," Melissa said. "We [she and Jessica] bought all kinds of souvenirs. We kept joking that anyone would be able to tell we were tourists."

Ashley called the trip a "once-in-a-lifetime" experience, and doubted she would repeat it.

"We were told that any girls who performed are invited back next year," she said. "It was a good experience, but one time is enough."

Senior ski trip

Taneytown Senior Center is organizing a ski trip Jan. 30 to Ski Liberty in Pennsylvania, northwest of Carroll County.

Wednesdays are senior days at the ski resort, said Jackie Boisvert, the center's outreach coordinator.

"We will also have a senior ski instructor," she added.

A bus will leave the center at 11 a.m. and return at 2 p.m. The cost is $8.50 and includes transportation and lunch. Information: 410-756-4557.

Free throw contest

The 2001 Knights of Columbus Free Throw Championship will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 27 at Northwest Middle School in Taneytown. All boys and girls ages 10 to 14 are invited to compete.

The competition is sponsored annually by the Knights of Columbus, St. Joseph Taneytown Council 11631 and Taneytown Recreation Council, said Allen Shatzer, event coordinator.

Winners progress through local, district and state competitions. (It is called the 2001 Free Throw, rather than 2002 because the Knights' calendar year runs from July to June.)

Pre-registration will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, also at the middle school. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged, Shatzer said. Proof of age and written parental consent are required. Students must provide a copy of their birth certificates.

Each contestant in the local championship will receive a participation certificate. Each local age-group winner will receive a champion's certificate and plaque that will be presented at the local council's awards dinner in June.

During the competition, each contestant gets three warm-up tosses, then 15 free throw attempts. Information: 410-756-1214.

Baseball sign-up reminder

Taneytown Lions Little League has announced sign-ups for tee-ball, baseball and girls softball: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Jan. 25 and Feb. 1 at Northwest Middle School; and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 26 and Feb. 2.

Information: 410-857-3637.

More ball sign-ups

Union Bridge Area Recreation Council will hold its baseball, slow-pitch softball and FSK Junior Eagles lacrosse registration from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 26 and Feb. 2 and 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Jan. 30 at Elmer Wolfe Elementary School.

Baseball has four age groups: 5 to 6, 7 to 8, 9 to 10 and 11 to 12. The cost is $50 and includes a uniform shirt and hat. Uniform pants are required but not included in the fee.

Slow-pitch softball has five groups: age 6 and younger, 8 and younger, 10 and younger, 12 and younger, and 18 and younger. The cost is $40, which includes a shirt and hat. Uniform pants are required but not supplied.

FSK Junior Eagles lacrosse is open to boys and girls in third through eighth grades who live in the Union Bridge, Taneytown and New Windsor communities. The cost is $35 for girls and $60 for boys. Players must provide a stick. Lacrosse registration will be held Jan. 26.

Information: Anita Staley, 301-898-9451; baseball, Brian Klein, 410-775-7992; softball, Rhonda Swartzbaugh, 410-775-7858; and Eagles, Sandy Steinwetel, 410-751-6443.

Jean Marie Beall's Northwest neighborhood column appears each Thursday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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