Red Level senior Morgan Barlow cheered in the 2013 UCA/UDA Thanksgiving Tour at the Walt Disney World Resort during the Thanksgiving Parade in Orlando, Fla. | Andrew Garner/Star-News
Red Level senior Morgan Barlow cheered in the 2013 UCA/UDA Thanksgiving Tour at the Walt Disney World Resort during the Thanksgiving Parade in Orlando, Fla. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Born to cheer

Published 12:02am Thursday, December 12, 2013

Red Level senior participates in All-American tour

Under a sun-drenched blue sky in November, Red Level senior Morgan Barlow let it be known that she loves being a cheerleader.

Barlow, who was selected among the top 10 percent of cheerleaders in the nation, participated as an All-American in the 2013 UCA/UDA Thanksgiving Tour at the Walt Disney World Resort during Thanksgiving week in Orlando, Fla.

Tryouts for the All-American team were held in Gulf Shores, where Barlow said she felt the most nervous.

“I think the hardest part was trying out in front of 500-600 people at the camp in Gulf Shores,” she said. “They line you up in rows, and you jump (perform) in front of 500 people by yourself.

“I was nervous (at Walt Disney World), but once I got there I realized I was doing something I loved,” she said. “I started opening up to everything and took it all in. It was an experience that you would treasure the rest of your life.”

Barlow said her experience at Walt Disney included cheering during the Thanksgiving parade down Main Street at Magic Kingdom.

She said it was a great experience.

“I met over 200 new girls, and now I communicate with them,” Barlow said with a smile. “It meant a lot to me because I’ve worked hard for too many years to accomplish something I’ve tried my hardest at for six years now.”

Barlow was the only senior selected to tryout for the All-American team. She’s been cheering at Red Level since seventh grade.

Her love of cheering began while a youngster in elementary school.

“I always saw it when I was in elementary school and always thought it would be something that I would enjoy,” Barlow said. “When I tried out and I made it (the Red Level squad), I did really well. I earned an award at my first camp as a (most valuable player). I was named the captain on the junior varsity squad, and I’ve been one of the leaders on my squad for two years.

“It’s just something I enjoy,” she said.

Displaying good sportsmanship, keeping a smile on your face and representing one’s self are qualities that make a good cheerleader, Barlow said.

As far as next year, Barlow is looking to set up a tryout and clinic at Auburn University-Montgomery.

The daughter of Chastity and Andy Barlow of Red Level, Morgan said she wouldn’t be where she is today without the help of RLHS cheer sponsor Lisa Edson.

“She has such good morals,” the senior cheerleader said about Edson. “She’s really made me who I am as a cheerleader. She always pushes me to do my best, and that’s made me aware that that’s all I want to do, is give my best.”

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