Athlete Spotlight: James Wood High School cheerleader Lauren Taylor

laurenJames Wood High School 17-year-old senior

Sport: Cheerleading

Parents: Lowell and LaDonna Taylor

Hometown: Winchester

What do you love about cheerleading: I like the team and just the thrill I get from going out and competing and know I left everything out on the mat.

Most memorable moment in cheerleading: My freshman year the first time we ever went to [Class 4] states. The whole state experience is something to remember.

Most embarrassing moment in cheerleading: Probably at a pep rally and I completely forgot where I was going. I just kind of stood there. That was probably my freshman or sophomore year.

Three people you can have dinner with, dead or alive: Simone Biles after seeing everything she’s accomplished through the Olympics and through other gymnastics related competitions and how much she’s overcome, especially from her childhood. Gabby Butler, she is an all-star cheerleader. She’s phenomenal in what she does. It’s just crazy to see all of the things she can do with her body that other people wouldn’t imagine; My great-grandmother on my dad’s side. I met her when I was super young. Just hearing all of the stories and the crazy good recipes that she’s passed down, I just would have liked to get to know her better and understand the woman that she was.

What’s the best athletic advice you’ve ever received: Mine is, ‘If you’re not nervous, then something is wrong.’ Nerves are always a good thing. You use them to fuel you, instead of bring [you] down.

If you could go on a trip anywhere in the world, where would you go: Australia. All of the pictures and stuff that I’ve seen, it’s such a beautiful country.

Favorite teacher: My first grade teacher Miss [Donna] Johnson [at Apple Pie Ridge Elementary]. She was always so happy and fun. There was never a dull moment with her.

Favorite athlete: Simone Biles

Favorite team: Pittsburgh Steelers

Favorite movie: “Frozen”

Favorite TV show: “Grey’s Anatomy”

Favorite song: I listen to so many. Right now, it’s “Mo Bamba” by Sheck Wes

Favorite food: Chicken nuggets at Chick-fil-A

Plans after high school: I plan on attending WVU. I want to get into the criminology field and criminal profiling. I’ve always had an [interest] in crime. Serial killers are like my big thing, as weird as that may sound. It just fascinates me seeing what they do and I want to be the person to stop them in their tracks and put the puzzle pieces together.

— Compiled by Walt Moody

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