Tribune staff reports

Synergy Athletics All-Stars welcomed a special visitor to a recent practice.

Seymour’s own Indianapolis Colts cheerleader Caroline Bowman visited the competitive cheerleading team at its home gym, Gymnastics Lane in Seymour.

Bowman, a 2012 Seymour High School graduate, shared her journey with the team of girls and boys ages 3 to 18.

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Like the members of the Synergy team, Bowman herself started as a competitive cheerleader. She then went on to join the University of Louisville Ladybirds team in college. Then in April, she became an Indianapolis Colts cheerleader.

She also shared with the team that by making good choices and being dedicated to their passion, their dreams could come true, too.

Bowman’s visit was a surprise to the athletes on the team, and they all were excited. The most common chatter as parents were picking up their athlete was, “Mom, I got my picture taken with a real Colts cheerleader.”

Bowman and the Synergy teams have more in common than a love for cheerleading.

Bowman and the cheerleading squad share the colors of blue and black. Also, Bowman was honored to be a national award-winning champion with the Ladybirds, and Synergy athletes are back-to-back national award-winning champions.

First-year Synergy athlete Lydia Acton said it was a great opportunity to meet Bowman.

“Caroline is pretty and cute,” the 5-year-old said. “I hope I can be a Colts cheerleader.”

At the collegiate nationals in April, Bowman and the Ladybirds won the team performance and hip-hop division in Division IA of the 2016 National Dance Alliance Collegiate National Championship at Daytona Beach, Fla.

When she returned to Indiana, she attended the Colts cheerleading tryouts.

After participating in a preliminary round, she moved on to the final showcase. To prepare for that, she attended a workshop and got judged on fitness, dance technique, an interview and a football test.

In her rookie season with the Colts, Bowman will take the sidelines during games while making other public appearances. She also will have opportunities to travel with the team, such as on military tours.

Bowman graduated from the University of Louisville in May with a degree in psychology and will attend Ball State University in the fall for graduate school.