SYLACAUGA, Ala. – The Auburn University cheerleading squad and majorette line for the 2017-2018 season will share a small dose of the Marble City with the ‘loveliest village on the plains.’ Three young ladies with ties to the city of Sylacauga will be on the two teams.
Lauren Lightsey, a soon-to-be graduate of Sylacauga High School, tried out and made the Auburn Majorette line. She told SylacaugaNews.com she has dreamed of being an Auburn Majorette since she first picked up a baton at the dance studio in Sylacauga in fifth grade. She credited Madi Roberson, who also graduated from SHS and went on the be a feature twirler at Mississippi State University, as being her very first mentor.
Lightsey twirled for the Aggies all four years of high school. She was named captain of the majorette line for both her junior and senior years. But twirling before a few thousand fans on a Friday night at legion stadium will be very different from twirling in front of 85,000 fans on a fall Saturday in Jordan-Hare Stadium.
“It is going to be surreal and amazing to say the least,” she said. “Marching out of that tunnel and seeing everybody there will be a very over-whelming experience.
Miss Marble Valley 2016, Cora Lynn Griffen, was selected to be an Auburn cheerleader for the 2017-2018 season. Griffen, hailing from Columbus, Ga., is going into her junior year at Auburn where she is a pre-med and pre-law student. Griffen has not cheered since high school, but that did not stop her from making the team. Her experience in the sport began as a six-year-old in little league football and led to competitive cheerleading during her high school tenure.
Cheering is a passion for Griffen, which is why she said she is not competing in any pageants this upcoming year. She said Auburn cheering is a full-time activity and wants to make the most of this opportunity.
Although she is not from the area, Griffen stated Sylacauga will always hold a special place in her heart. She reminisced about her time spent in the city and the people who impacted her life. She said one of her mentors is Peggy Pursell and credited her with the success she had in the Miss Marble Valley Pageant.
“I am forever thankful for the people I met in Sylacauga, and it will always be a second home to me,” she said.
Additionally, Carley Bivin was also selected to the Auburn cheerleading squad. The Bivin family has been in Sylacauga for many years. Her grandparents, Tom and Pat Bivin are from Sylacauga and her great-grandparents, Buck and Lillie Bivin, were lifelong Sylacuaga residents.
Carley Bivin grew up in Vestavia where she has been involved in cheer and gymnastics for most of her life. Her father, David, told SylacaugaNews.com his daughter has always dreamed of becoming an Auburn cheerleader.
“She is overwhelmed with the thought of seeing over 80,000 fans cheer along with her in the stands,” Bivin said. “For me, its going to be an emotional experience to see my daughter live her dream.”
Jeremy Law for SylacaugaNews.com | © 2017, SylacaugaNews.com/Marble City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.