The Ravens organization is enjoying a bit of success away from the football field during the 2014 offseason.
Cheerleader Amanda Ross was crowned Miss Maryland on Sunday, and she will now advance to compete for the Miss United States crown in July.
"It was so overwhelming," Ross said. "As soon as they announced I won I just started balling."
The Miss Maryland competition was just the second pageant Ross had ever done. Her first pageant was in November, when she was named the first-ever Miss Baltimore.
She never really saw herself as a pageant girl, but decided to give it a try at the urging of some of her Ravens' teammates.
"If I hadn't worked with the Ravens I never would have done the pageants," Ross said.
"Cheerleading definitely made me more confident in myself with just performing in general. Every week you're comfortable performing in front of 70,000 fans."
The biggest benefit she sees in making the pageant rounds is that it has provided her a chance to promote social causes she is passionate about, specifically childhood reading and literacy. The Morgan State senior is a physical education major, and she is involved in a local childhood literacy program called Reading Partners.
"This experience has been great because it's given me a platform to talk about these issues," Ross said.
Ross will take the next couple of week to celebrate her Miss Maryland crown, but she will shift her focus to cheerleading tryouts next month. Last season was her first as a Ravens cheerleader, and like the entire team, she has to try out for the squad again this year.
Cheerleading tryouts are March 8-9, and then she'll start getting ready for the Miss United States competition this summer.
"I'll be busy, but I just want to have fun with it," she said.