Salem high school cheerleading team embraces student with Down Syndrome


West Salem High School freshman Lora Harrington has never let Down Syndrome slow her down. Trying out for the Titan cheerleading team was no exception.

Lora’s mom says she has been a cheerleader for as long as she can remember.

“It started when she was a little baby when we started going to my brother’s football games. She was the loudest cheerleader in the stands,” Cory Wingett said.

Her passion carried over to middle school. She tracked down Titan cheers and practiced them on her own.

Lora went out for the squad last spring.

“I was apprehensive at first because we’ve been told no a lot of times,” Wingett said.

Cheerleading staff provided Lora with routines before tryouts. And with plenty of practice and help from others girls on the team, Lora earned the title of Honorary Cheerleader.

Head Cheer Coach Aarika Guerrero said it was clear she was learning the material and having fun.

“She works really hard. It’s important to know she wasn’t just handed anything. She earned it,” she said.

Since joining the team, the squad has embraced Lora as a sister. You can catch her cheering on the Titan’s next Monday against West Albany at West Salem High School.

Copyright 2016 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.


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