Ray Welch | Daily News

Anna Wilson signed her letter of intent to become a cheerleader for the Union Bulldogs on Thursday in the Bell County High School auditorium. Pictured, back row, from left, are: Brian Crawford, Trisha Evans Long and Lisa Napier; front row, from left: Jennifer Hartman, Anna Wilson and Adron Wilson.

Wilson signs to Union for cheerleading

Anna Wilson has signed to be a cheerleader for the Union Bulldogs. In a crowded Bell County auditorium last week, Wilson signed her letter of intent surrounded by family, friends and coaches.

Union Cheer coach Lisa Napier saw a lot of potential in Wilson that extended beyond athletics.

“Her academics are what caught my eye,” said Napier. “Her grades show that she is a hardworking and dedicated individual, and you can never have too many of those. Her cheerleading and athletic ability caught my eye as well. I’ve known Trish, her cheer coach, for probably about 15 years.

“Even though I no longer coach at the high school level, we have stayed in contact. I’ve judged her try-outs, I’ve been to her practices and her team has even been to Union and let my team work with them. So, I’ve followed Anna for the last few years and when I found out she had the desire to continue, I went right after her. I would rather have hard work over anything. Hard work and dedication are paramount, especially in college.”

Anna’s father, Adron Wilson, is exceptionally proud of his daughter for being the first member of his side of their family to go to college.

“It means the world to me,” said Adron. “I didn’t finish college out all the way and ended up making a career out of the military. As far as my side of the family goes, she’s probably the first one to go to college, and I couldn’t be more proud of her. I’m very thankful that she chose a college so close to home. I’m looking forward to seeing her through her college years. I’ve heard very good things about Union College, and I feel like she’s in the right place.”

Anna’s mother Jennifer Hartman is thankful her daughter is staying close to home.

“I’m so proud of her. With her being so close to home, I’ll be able to watch her continue to grow and cheer. She has dedicated herself to this, and it shows a great deal of maturity and work-ethic that someone so young can look that far ahead and say ‘I’m in it for the long haul’. Again, I’m just so proud of her.”

Cheering since 5th grade, Wilson is excited to take her abilities to the next level.

“I love the thrill of performing. I’m looking forward to new experiences and meeting new people. I already know a few people there and I am somewhat familiar. I think that will make the adjustment easier.”

Planning on majoring in pre-med, Wilson dreams of being a pediatrician.