Lady Dawgs’ Powell, Ross continue at the next level
By TJ MAXWELL
Hard work pays off.
That saying may be overused but it rings true in the case of Cove basketballer Erica Powell and cheerleader Carleigh Ross who each signed to continue their careers at the collegiate level during a mock signing ceremony at the school Wednesday.
For Powell, it was somewhat of an internal battle to get her dream realized.
She was admittedly not as committed to her craft as she should’ve been but that all changed her junior year.
“I’m feeling great right now,’ she said during the ceremony. “Honestly, I never thought I would be here. For me to push myself and keep going is just great.
“It’s a great feeling. I thank everybody for pushing me. It helped in the long run and I just appreciate everything. It’s an amazing feeling knowing that everybody is supporting me although I haven’t always been there. It’s just great.”
Powell signed to play basketball for the Tyler Junior College Apaches.
“Their program is amazing,” she said. “It’s incredible how much they put into their athletes and they have a good Kinesiology program and that’s what I’m taking.”
Passion and heart is what drew the attention of Tyler Junior College head coach Trenia Tillis Hoard.
“She likes how I play and how I never give up on the play.”
Powell had so many great memories with her young teammates that she couldn’t pick just one that stands out.
“Honestly, it all stuck out,” she said. “We felt like a family. After every win we come together and, after a loss, we had to talk about it.”
She offered one bit of advice for her young teammates who will cross this road in the near future.
“Just make sure you get after it and know what school you want to go to.”
For Ross, it’s a lifelong dream realized to cheer for the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Crusaders.
“I’m excited,” said Ross. “It’s been an honor representing Copperas Cove high school but it’s even more of an honor to represent UMHB. I love everything they represent and I’m glad to be a part of it. I love the small campus. They are all so close and I love the support system.
“I’ve been competitive cheering since I was eight years old but my best memory with cheer was probably last year’s banquet. We were all doing speeches about the year. Listening to everyone talk about how much they really appreciate each other and how close we’ve grown really hit home.”
A three-time All-American and 36th in her class with a 4.09 grand point average, Ross has been a stellar representative of Copperas Cove High School and she looks forward to being an ambassador for UMHB.
“In order to make this team, you have to be a good representative,” she said. “You just have to be a well-rounded person, very kind and a good ambassador for the school.”
Not only will she act as an ambassador for the program off the field and a cheerleader for the teams on the field, Ross will represent the Cru in competition as well.
“There are two teams for UMHB cheer,” she said. “The sideline team and a competition team. The sideline team represents to school body and spirit and football games and such. We also volunteer around the community. The competition teams are the ones you see in Florida in competition. You can make one team or the other, but I made both, so I will be representing UMHB in both.”