Cyclones' Shook to cheer for King

Receives first scholarship in college's revival of program

By Wes Holtsclaw

   After removing the program five years ago, King College will once again welcome cheerleading and dance to its core of athletics.
   Beginning with the 2004-05 school year, the squad will be a fixture in competitions and sporting events. But before they begin work this fall, the school must build a team.
   They looked no further than Elizabethton High School, where senior Leslie Shook was ready to continue one of her goals as a member of the squad.
   The daughter of Dale and Kelly Shook signed a letter of intent Wednesday afternoon, becoming the first person to join the unit for next season.
   An active member of the Lady Cyclones squad during her high school tenure, Leslie also received King's first cheerleading scholarship.
   "I've always wanted to cheer in college," Leslie said at Elizabethton High on Wednesday. "Everything worked out and it all happened really fast."
   Shook is thrilled to be a part of the school's new effort, which is led by new coach Hope Allison.
   "They've got a really good program, it's new," she said. "Their cheerleading program hasn't been around in five years, so they're starting it again.
   "They began recruiting people and I'm excited, because they're just now starting to give scholarships for cheerleading and dance."
   Shook was originally planning to attend ETSU before everything came together at King.
   "At first, I decided that I wasn't going to go there," she said. "I was going to stay at home and go to ETSU. But whenever they talked to me and worked everything out, we decided that it would be the best thing to do."
   Prior to the signing, the 2003 Elizabethton Homecoming Queen didn't think she was going to be able to cheer this next year.
   "I never thought I would (cheer in college)," said Shook, who credited pep rallies as one of her favorite events at Elizabethton. "It's always been too far out of reach."
   "I never thought I'd be able to get a scholarship (cheering)," she said. "Until everything happened at King, I was going to take a year off and maybe tryout at ETSU."
   Shook has been very active at Elizabethton High, where she has also participated in the Women's Ensamble and Chorus, and Color Guard and Band while being an active member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the National Honor Society.
   "Cheerleading has been the best thing because I love it so much," she said.
   The senior will major in business and finance at King.