A Shooting Star from Kennard

Ashlee Adams Selected for Houston Astros’ Shooting Stars

By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

HOUSTON COUNTY – The cheerleaders and dancers for the professional sports teams of Houston are starting to get a certain Houston County look. A few years ago, the Texans selected Latexo’s Jordan and Randi Lane for their cheerleading squad.

And on Sunday, Nov. 12, the Houston Astros selected 2014 Kennard High School graduate Ashlee Adams to join the Coca Cola Shooting Stars.

According to the 2017 World Champion Houston Astros’ (has a nice ring to it!) website, “The Coca Cola Shooting Stars have quickly become Houston fan favorites during Astros home games at Minute Maid Park. Since the squad’s debut in 2014, the Shooting Stars have brought energy and excitement to Astros games. Whether tossing souvenirs to fans, dancing on the dugouts, singing along during the 7th Inning Stretch or volunteering in the Houston community, the Shooting Stars deliver spirit and passion on and off the field. With the perfect combination of Texas charm and boundless enthusiasm, the Shooting Stars are sure to make your next trip to Minute Maid Park a memorable one!”

During a phone conversation held on Nov. 14, Adams described the selection process and what this means to her.

“I actually heard about the Shooting Stars from Dana Molina, she was the dance teacher during the dance portion of the audition,” she said.

Asked how she had connected with Molina, Adams explained Molina was from Latexo and was her dance teacher when she was younger.

“It’s kind of a weird relationship,” she laughed. “She taught me dance, I work for her and we’re friends. I actually help teach dance for her at her studio in Huntsville.”

When asked about the audition, which took place on Saturday, Nov. 11 and Sunday, Nov. 12, Adams said 398 applicants turned in applications “… and I know at least 300 showed up for the audition. It was the largest audition ever.”

She was also asked what her thoughts were when she first arrived at Union Station at Minute Maid Park.

“I thought, ‘How am I going to stand out? How will I get picked?’ So, as soon as the music started, I was front and center and a smile never left my face. You never know who’s watching you and looking at you, so I pasted on the biggest smile I could possibly find and made eye contact with everyone I could,” she said.

Describing how the field of applicants was narrowed, Adams said the initial cut whittled the prospective Shooting Stars from over 300 down to 81.

“I felt I had made a big accomplishment, after the first cut,” she explained. “Then, we had interviews as a group and group activities. After the second cut, we went from 81 girls to 31. I was honestly in shock. I think I’m still in shock now!”

On Sunday morning, Adams said the 31 remaining girls had personal interviews and only 21 were selected.

“I had my personal interview at 10:40 a.m. on Sunday. Then, I had to wait all – day – long! I think I almost broke my e-mail! I kept getting back on there and scrolling and scrolling. Finally, a little after 9 p.m., I opened my e-mail and I saw a message from the Houston Astros. I said to myself, ‘OK. Here we go.’ I opened it up and it said congratulations, you’ve been selected. I did a little happy crying and then started celebrating,” she exclaimed.

As to what she will be doing with the Shooting Stars, Adams said they are a relatively new team which established in 2014.

“They dance – oh, we dance – I’m talking like I’m not on the team. We dance during the seventh inning stretch but we’re really there to promote the team. We interact with fans and do different things, but in the seventh inning we dance on top of the dugout. There’s a little dance, but there is a lot more talking to fans and interacting with them,” she said.

When asked what advice she might give to other young girls in Kennard and in Houston County, she reflected for a moment and then replied, “You are more than just Kennard, Texas. You are more than just Houston County, Texas. You can set your mind to anything and accomplish it. Being in a small town makes you feel like everyone knows you and knows your business. It makes you wonder how are you ever going to get out of Kennard, Texas.”

“How am I ever going to be more than this little town?” she added. “No one is going to notice the girl from this little bitty town. I had a graduating class of 30. When I told the girls in my group that, they were like ‘Oh My Gosh! 30 people?’ But, it’s not about the town, it’s about you. If you set your mind to be more than that, you can be. Never give up!”

Adams is currently enrolled in both Angelina College and Sam Houston State University. She also works at a bank in Trinity County and teaches dance at “Hot on Your Heels” in Huntsville.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at [email protected].

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