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La Salle-Peru senior Haley Booker (seated, center) signs Wednesday to be a cheerleader at Lindenwood University. She was joined at the signing by her parents, Manuela and Bill Booker, and former L-P cheerleading coach Holly Rathbun (standing). NewsTribune photo/Kevin Chlum
La Salle-Peru senior Haley Booker was introduced to competitive cheerleading as a freshman and she fell in love.
“I loved everything about it,” Booker said. “Because I loved it, it pushed me to want to learn more skills, it pushed me to want to do better and it pushed me to want to take the next step after high school.”
She’ll be taking the next step at Lindenwood University, an NAIA school in St. Charles, Mo.
Booker signed a Letter of Intent on Wednesday to cheer for the Lynx.
“I chose Lindenwood because it’s a Division II school so it’s competitive enough for me to challenge myself and to make myself better and because when I went to visit the school I got that feeling that everyone tells you you’re supposed to get,” Booker said. “I went to visit a practice. The team included me in things. I really felt at home there.
“I really like the dorms. I like the facilities. Things are new. They have so much to offer. I can really see myself blossoming there.”
As a senior, Booker helped the L-P cheerleading squad to an IHSA State Tournament appearance.
“She is such a great leader. She’s definitely an ambassador of the school and has great school spirit,” L-P coach Holly Rathbun said. “She’s very much a competitor. She works so hard in the gym with tumbling skills. She works on flexibility and strength. She’s all around a great individual inside the classroom, in other activities and in cheerleading especially. She is going to be a huge asset to Lindenwood.”
Kevin Chlum can be reached at 220-6939, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsEditor.
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