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Amodo named Cheerleader of the Month

by Kyle Galdeira

It seemed like just another publicity photo shoot. Fortunately for HPU cheerleader Lori-Ann Amodo, it was much more.

The senior psychology major was named “Cheerleader of the Month” for October in American Cheerleader Magazine, a national publication. In addition to a cover story, Amodo also received a $1,000 scholarship from Bonne Belle and Soffe sportswear.


“I didn’t realize how big a deal this was until I saw the magazine,” said Amodo. “I realized that people saw the magazine nationwide when some of my team members said their friends back home were asking questions about me.”

Amodo was chosen for the cover when Marisa Walker, managing editor of the magazine, noticed her while the team practiced at the YMCA. Walker asked if Amodo would like to be on the cover because she had the “local, Hawaiian look” and “stood out from the crowd.”

“ She has excellent showmanship as a collegiate cheerleader,” said HPU Head Cheerleading Coach Matt Parkey. “She really knows how to get the crowd’s attention and always tries to be the best she can be in front of an audience.”

Amodo got her start in gymnastics at the age of 9. She quit the sport as a level-seven competitor (level 10 is considered worthy of Olympic competition) and focused on cheerleading.

When Amodo tried out for the Moanalua High School cheerleading squad, she was cut; but she did not give up. She joined the Na Ali‘i All Stars, a recreational cheerleading team that was coached by Ben Hazelrig and Robert Daniels—both coaches for HPU at the time. Amodo’s talent proved to be worthy of collegiate-level competition, and she was given a scholarship to HPU.

“ One thing that has made her stand out and develop into an awesome athlete is her drive to try new things and learn difficult skills,” said Parkey.

While still in high school, Amodo coached gymnastics at Aloha Gymnastics World in Kalihi. Today in her spare time, Amodo coaches kids ages 7-12 on the K-Bay Cheerleading team at the Kane‘ohe Marine Corps Base.

As a captain of this year’s squad, Amodo is hoping to guide the HPU team to a third straight National Cheerleaders Association championship. The 2005 championship will be held in Daytona Beach, Fla. during the first weekend in April. “The team this year has a lot of young talent, but we have to work on focusing and being mentally tough so we can compete at the highest level,” said Amodo.

Coach Parkey is pleased to have Amodo around to make another run at the championship. “I am very proud to say that Lori-Ann is one of my cheerleaders,” he said. “She is a great asset to the squad, and her awesome attitude brings a great presence to the program.”


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