By Patrick Stoetzer
Carrol County Times
The tomboy from Mount Airy has become a well-known face to Ravens fans, particularly those who watch games from the first few rows at M&T Bank Stadium.
She’s kind of hard to miss as a flier on the cheerleading team, one who gets tossed in the air during a routine. Her fair skin and shocking red hair are a giveaway, too.
And being on the cover of back-to-back Ravens swimsuit calendars has certainly bolstered her celebrity.
Ravens cheerleaders don’t give out full names, a way of protecting themselves from potentially dangerous social situations. But they’re fan favorites, and the tomboy from Mount Airy — she goes by Adriene B. — is one of the more recognizable faces thanks to being photogenic and fortunate.
She was at McDaniel College on Friday morning to publicize the team’s latest swimsuit calendar, which debuted while the Ravens held their first full practice before a large crowd of excited football fans. Adriene and four other cheerleaders posed for photos and signed items, everything from jerseys and hats to notebooks and posters.
And the new calendar, of which she’s one of five bikini-clad Ravens cheerleaders on the cover.
Last year, when the Ravens unveiled their inaugural cheerleader swimsuit calendar, Adriene went solo on the cover in a powder-blue bikini.
Adriene with last year’s calendar
The four-year veteran, who cheered at South Carroll and Maryland before making the Ravens’ squad, is still shy when people ask for an autograph or a photo op.
“I’m still such a tomboy at heart,” she said. “When they first announced it, I was like, ‘My mother is going to kill me.’ I come from conservative Mount Airy, born and raised. I still blush to this day.”
Adriene, 25, grew up a dancer but dabbled in soccer and track before choosing cheerleading at South Carroll. She worked on farms in Carroll and Frederick counties and pursued a pre-veterinary studies and laboratory management major at Maryland.
But cheerleading for the Terrapins led to a tryout with the Ravens, something she still can’t quite fathom.
Adriene was intrigued with the Ravens because of their distinction as the only cheerleading unit that performs group stunts, longer routines that feature acrobatic maneuvers set to music. Standing still and shaking pompoms just wasn’t her idea of fun.
The Ravens’ cheerleading staff informed the 2008-09 team of its inaugural swimsuit calendar, but a tight budget meant not every girl would be traveling to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, for the shoot. Adriene made the cut, but almost didn’t make the trip.
She remembers driving on Md. 32 from Mount Airy to College Park, ready to grab her luggage and head for the airport, when she struck a deer and it burst through her windshield. The glass and roof of her car came down on her, she said, but somehow Adriene was unscathed and walked about a mile in a rainstorm to find help.
She made it to Punta Cana, and when she got back her coaches told her she’d be gracing the cover.
“They don’t know how I survived the accident,” Adriene said. “They said an angel must have come down and grabbed me, held on to me. Then I found out about the cover. It was definitely worth it.”
This year’s calendar shoot had the girls trekking to the Bahamas. The Ravens went with a quintet of bathing beauties, and once again Adriene made the cut.
She made a lot of Ravens fans happy Friday with autographs and pictures, and she stopped for a few minutes to chat with former South Carroll classmate Greg Kennell, who took in practice with Loren Marcoux, also a South Carroll alumna.
Kennell said it was awesome to see a South Carroll grad turn into an established Ravens Cheerleader.
“And to see her on the cover was really cool,” he said.