Oranges Anyone? Local girl attends bowl

Published 1:57 pm Tuesday, January 25, 2005

By By ERIKA PICKLES / Niles Daily Star
Kelly Clarkson, JoJo, Trace Adkins and Ashlee Simpson were some of the performers at this year's FedEx Orange Bowl held at Pro Player Stadium in Miami.
Among those names was Niles High School senior and reigning Miss Niles/Brandywine Lacey Wiemuth.
Wiemuth was chosen to be on the National Cheerleaders Associations All-American team, which put on a pre-game performance before the bowl and danced with the performers at halftime.
Wiemuth, who is a varsity cheerleader at Niles, was able to try out for the team at the NCA's cheerleading camp last August. The camp was held at Hope College in Holland. She competed against over 100 hopefuls for a spot on the team, which is made up of 150 girls from all over the United States and Canada.
In order to be considered for the team, girls at the camp had to be nominated from the camp staff based on their spirit, jumps, stunts, motions and tumbling skills. The girls were given ribbons that made them eligible to try out for the squad. Wiemuth tried out and made the team.
After the teammates were chosen, they were given a choice of cheering at either the Orange Bowl or the Hula Bowl, held in Hawaii. Though Wiemuth said it would have been nice going to Hawaii, she chose the Orange Bowl. "It was so much more expensive to go to Hawaii, but I like Florida anyway so it worked out." She said.
All of the team members were responsible for their own packages, which included airfare, hotel, food and transportation, which can be pretty pricey no matter where you go.
The team traveled to Miami from Dec. 31-Jan. 4 where they practiced three times a day at the Miami Dolphins practice field.
So, how does cheering for a college bowl game differ from high school games?
Television cameras from evey major news and sports stations and 72,000 plus fans would be a big difference and be enough to make anyone nervous.
Lacey has been cheering since she was in seventh grade. Besides being a cheerleader and Miss Niles/Brandywine, she plays on the varsity soccer team, is involved in N-Club and Drug Free Players, is currently taking classes at Lake Michigan College and is getting ready for the Miss Blossomtime Pageant. She also tried out to be a part of the NCA's staff, but won't know if she got the job until March 1.
After high school, Lacey plans to continue to attend Lake Michigan College. In the future, she would like to cheer for a bigger college or university.