By Mary Beard
Special to Stlouisrams.com
Known as the grandmother of the group, Meghan often acts as a role model and mentor for the younger cheerleaders. And in her sixth season cheering with the Rams--the longest tenure of anyone on the squad--she isn’t slowing down.
Meghan started dancing in O’Fallon, Illinois when she was just three years old. Taking everything from tap, ballet, jazz and hip hop, she continued at her studio throughout high school when she also became a member of her school’s dance team, getting her first taste of dancing on the football field.
When she went to college however, her opportunities to continue dancing became slim. But her family had purchased Rams season tickets since 1995, and after watching the girls perform at a game, she decided that would be her next goal. During her first year of tryouts she made it all the way to the final round--and then was cut.
“I was really determined to be on the team. So I kept track of the girls, watched them perform, figured out where I could improve and what could make me stand out more,” she said. “I wasn’t going to let it get me down.”
A year later, Meghan tried out once more and made the squad. Now in her sixth season, she’s a pro.
“My experience definitely helps me out. At the yearly events I know what to expect, I know the routine of getting appearance and performance ready,” she says. “Other girls often come up to me for advice and I’m happy to help because I’ve been through it all.”
Meghan counts her favorite event to help out with as the Celebrity Server Dinner benefitting Make-A-Wish Foundation. Including this year, she’s been able to attend the event three times.
“It’s such a fun night and I love what they stand for,” she says. “They are literally making kid’s dreams come true!”
Personally, Meghan and her family are also big supporters of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, as her father passed away from the disease in 2012. She stays very active in the St. Louis chapter, particularly by participating in their annual walk, which takes place this September. There she will walk along with the rest of her family in honor of her dad.
Meghan says that she’s most excited to see more fans in the Edward Jones Dome this season, and to see what Coach Fisher’s team can do.
“I look forward to every home game, but especially this year I am excited to see all of Coach’s pieces come together!”
Already this Fall Meghan has had something extra special to cheer about, as she was chosen as the 2013 Cheerleader Calendar cover girl.
Meghan was the first to take her photo upon arriving to Jamaica. She had to rush straight to her hotel room once the plane landed to get ready so that they’d be able to shoot during sunset. She thought they’d captured a few good ones, so she was excited to see them. At the reveal party, however, the photo that was displayed for everyone to see wasn’t during sunset, but from different time they’d shot her that week.
“I was a little bummed and thought that those photos must not have turned out well,” she said.
But as they went to unveil the cover poster, Meghan saw the corner of the photo and recognized it instantly as her own—shot during the sunset, of course.
“I was completely shocked,” she remembers. “Of course every girl hopes they have a shot, but it’s so coveted, that you never think it’s going to be you!”
Aside from traveling for the calendar shoot, this year Meghan has already made trips both north and south from NFL Canada and NFL Mexico to kick off the 2013 season.
“I feel very lucky that I’ve been cheering for 6 years,” she says. “It is rare to have this opportunity as a cheerleader and being able to have this role for so long is an honor. I have been blessed with amazing opportunities to represent the rams nationally and internationally and would not change those experiences for the world.”