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Arcata High cheerleader takes part in nationally televised Christmas Day parade

There are roughly 400,000 high school cheerleaders in the United States. Shelby Sobol was one of 600 chosen to perform in this year’s Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade.

"It’s a really big deal,” Sobol said. “I still haven't quite wrapped my head around how big it is. It still doesn't feel real."

This is the second year performing in the annual parade for the Arcata High School senior. She was named All-American during the Nation Cheer Association camp, which gave her the chance to participate in either the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or Disney’s Christmas Day Parade. She chose Disney.

“I love Disney,” Sobol said. “I grew up with Disney and I’ve been going to Disney things my whole life."

Shelby is the only person from the North Coast that is in this year’s parade. She said she was picked based on her motions during the try out. Each of the 600 cheerleaders is given a DVD that teaches the routine. Once in Florida, they have to try out to find their placement in the parade.

"We watched the instruction video with her,” Head Coach Collene Cossey said. “Practiced with her— Went over things over and over again, critiqued her.”

Cossey and her daughter, Ashley made the trip to Walt Disney World with Shelby back at the beginning of December. That’s when the parade was filmed.

"We were highly honored that Shelby asked us to go and make her senior year complete by escorting he," Cossey said.

And complete it is—

"It means a lot,” Sobol said. “I've been cheering since seventh grade so to have an opportunity to like this is huge."

The parade will air on ABC at 10 a.m.