Liv Ovington loves to be a cheerleader.
But only when she’s actually on the cheerleading team.
Last year, after suffering a fluke injury in soccer, she was sent to the sidelines while nursing a concussion. She couldn’t play, but she could cheer.
The team might not have known it, but they didn’t just have a good teammate on their side, they had one of the best cheerleaders in the country.
Ovington, a junior at St. Hubert High School, was named All-American by the Universal Cheerleading Association. She was one of four Bambies who earned the accolades. Other All-Americans were seniors Emily Livewell and Alyssa Heron, and sophomore Alyssa Cooper.
“I found out when I got an email and I just screamed I was so excited,” said Ovington, a Torresdale native. “It was the best news I got in 2020. It wasn’t hard to beat that, I guess, but it was so exciting to find out.
“It means a lot. It’s very nice to be honored. I love cheerleading. I’ve had a great time doing it at St. Hubert’s. I love it because everyone on the team is great, they’re all family. The same way about the school. Everyone knows each other’s name and is always smiling. I love cheering and going to St. Hubert’s.”
Ovington’s fans have had a lot of reasons to cheer since she entered high school.
She’s been a starting midfielder for the soccer team since last year. This year, she is hoping to take another step and lead the Bambies to a strong season when league play begins.
But Ovington isn’t sitting home in the meantime. She’s playing for a U-19 team in Torresdale.
“We lost our first game, but it felt so good to just get back out there and play,” said Ovington, who plays midfielder for the club team, too. “It’s good to play. This summer, we weren’t able to play, so I would mostly run to stay in shape. I liked it, but it’s not the same as playing. I really missed playing.
“The team is mostly high school players, so we’re trying to get better.”
No matter what she’s doing, Ovington is always on a mission to get better.
She has little time for TV or lounging because on top of being a three-sport athlete — she plays soccer, cheerleading and, in the spring, lacrosse — she’s an honors student and a member of the Bambies Ambassador Program.
She certainly plans on taking part on the cheerleading team, which is always among the best in the Catholic League, the state and nation. Every year, the Bambies are one of the teams that head to Orlando to compete in the national championships, and they almost always bring home hardware. But that could be different this year because it’s hard to imagine the Catholic League going to Orlando when it’s not willing to play league games.
One option that has been floated has been for teams to compete virtually in the meet, but the February competition is still up in the air.
Ovington hopes the Bambies will be able to compete in the nationals, where her varsity team finished fifth a year ago. It wasn’t their best showing, but it was still pretty cool to compete against the best in the country.
“Cheering for St. Hubert’s is so cool,” Ovington said. “One time while I was there, someone came up and said, ‘Oh my God, you’re a Bambie, can I have your autograph?’ I didn’t sign, but I was wearing our uniform so I took a picture with her. It’s pretty cool to have everyone knowing your team.”
While she might get the most notoriety for her cheerleading skills, Ovington also loves playing lacrosse. She played the sport growing up before quitting after suffering a dislocated kneecap while playing basketball. But since she got back to Hubert, she jumped back in and has been having a great time as an attacker.
“I think I like it because it’s so fast,” Ovington said. “I like scoring the goals. It’s much different, it’s a different game, but I really like it. I like playing for Hubert. It’s just a fun team to be on. It’s hard, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a lot of fun.”
Luckily, Ovington doesn’t have to make a choice right now about which sport she wants to play, but if she had to pick now, she is leaning toward either cheerleading or lacrosse.
She also has rough plans for a major.
“I’m not certain, but I think I want to go into pulmonology, and maybe become a respiratory therapist,” Ovington said. “My cousin was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, and I grew up with him, watching him, and I learned a lot about medicines. He’s doing good. We’re close. I would like to help people like him.”