Lakeside Middle School eighth-grader Lauren Chandler had quite an experience earlier this month.
On Feb. 3, she spent the day at the Hula Bowl in Maui, an invited guest no less.
The Hula Bowl showcases some of college football's top players for pro scouts. This season's roster included Heisman trophy winner Eric Crouch. At halftime, a group of selected cheerleaders from throughout the United States was on hand to perform for the crowd.
Lauren earned her invitation while at the University of Georgia's Team Cheerleading Camp last summer. Of all the schools at the camp, one high school and one middle school cheerleader were tapped for the Hula Bowl, so this is a huge accolade.
Talent was her ticket to Hawaii, but Lauren also is part of a cheerleading tradition. Her mother Tina cheered while in college at Jacksonville State University in Alabama.
Lauren's cheerleading ability could be the result of her extensive background in gymnastics. She currently trains at Hayden's International Gymnastics Academy, where she competes at Level 8. She is a two- time state gymnastics champion in Levels 6 and 7.
Lauren's family has gymnastics background as well.
Her aunt, Gina Prater, who owns Barbara's Salon on Pleasant Home Road, was a standout gymnast and pursued gymnastics and cheering at what is now Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville, Ga.
Lauren plans to continue cheering next season at Lakeside High School. Congratulations Lauren, and keep up the good work.
What a month for Fredie
Former Evans High School hoops standout Fredie Williams, who is a key figure for the Texas Longhorns' program, has had quite a month.
There is an extensive story on the University's Web site (www.Texassports.com) praising Williams as one of the nation's premier defensive players.
Last season he was named the team's top defensive player, and he is a lock for the honor again this season.
Also, he is helping guide the Longhorns into the big dance, also known as the NCAA Tournament.
But none of that tops Williams' Valentine's Day experience. The 5-11 guard spent that day marrying his fiancee, Amy Evelyn Parrott.
He scored six points, grabbed two rebounds and had two steals as Texas knocked off Missouri 72-70 last Sunday.
Ashley Brown's radio program can be heard from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday on News-Talk Sports 1630 AM. His e-mail address is AB@WRDWAM.com.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.