Savannah Lloyd was front and center last month when the city of Philadelphia celebrated the Super Bowl-winning Eagles with a parade for the ages.
Last week, the Moosic resident was back at her alma mater for another celebration — this one not as gargantuan, but nonetheless just as special.
On Wednesday, Riverside Elementary East held a pep rally in honor of Lloyd, a member of the Eagles’ cheerleading squad.
You might call the Riverside Junior-Senior High School graduate a good luck charm of sorts, considering Philly won its first-ever Super Bowl in her first year as an Eagles cheerleader. At 19, she’s the youngest member of the squad.
“It was awesome. It’s always an honor to go back to my alma mater and speak to the kids,” said Lloyd of the Riverside pep rally, which was attended by students, teachers, staff, district officials and Lackawanna County commissioners Patrick O’Malley and Laureen Cummings, who presented Lloyd with a plaque.
As you can imagine, Lloyd still hasn’t come down from her Super Bowl high yet. She and her fellow cheerleaders performed at the game, which took place at Minneapolis’ U.S. Bank Stadium and ended with the Eagles prevailing over the New England Patriots, 41-33.
“It was a jam-packed week, doing appearances and all the media stuff for television,” said Lloyd, the daughter of Mary Lou and Jay Lloyd. “It just takes my breath away thinking about it. Being in the lead and being on the sidelines during the last minutes of the game, that feeling was indescribable.”
Performing has always come naturally to Lloyd, whose mom and aunt are the owners of Romar Dance Studio in Old Forge, where Lloyd now teaches. During her years at Riverside, she was Miss Viking.
Raised a Pittsburgh Steelers fan by her father, Lloyd first took an interest in trying out for the Eagles during her freshman year as a dance major at Temple University. (She has since transferred to Marywood University, where she is an early childhood and special education major.)
“I wanted to perform and get myself out there,” she said. “And my mom always encouraged me to venture out and try something spontaneous.”
And so that’s how she found herself at the team’s cheerleading auditions with 500 other women vying for a slot on the 36-member squad.
She made it through that first round, and several others that followed it.
So far, it’s been one fantastic experience after another, from the cheerleaders’ calendar photo shoot in the Dominican Republic last summer, to the season itself, which found the Eagles playing consistently great football throughout.
Among the perks of the job, Lloyd received tickets to every home game. Her parents came to all of them, with her father typically finding a seat in the end zone to be closer to her.
“Walking through the tunnel on game day, it just feels like home,” she said. “I wouldn’t want to be part of any other organization. I’ve met so many people. All the cheerleaders are very mature and have jobs and careers. … If I need any advice, I go to them.”
The good vibes continued right up to the parade, where Lloyd and the cheerleaders waved to the screaming masses from the back of a huge truck. Upon arriving at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, they performed a routine on the steps made famous by Rocky Balboa.
“I had never been in a parade like this – I never saw so many people screaming. The feeling was incredible,” she said. “It’s crazy I was able to experience this. My friends say I’m the most spoiled Eagles fan.”
Hopefully, her luck will continue. In order to earn a place on next season’s squad, Lloyd will have to re-audition in the coming months.
Whatever happens, she can take immense pride in having been a part of a truly monumental experience.
“It turned into the best year of my life. And I feel like it hasn’t really hit me yet. I’m just so grateful and so blessed,” she said. “It’s taught me not to take anything for granted. I’ve always been told to dream big, and not to let anyone stop you from achieving your dreams.”