Dawson County High School student Summer Sanders has a lot to cheer about.
The senior not only made the Georgia All-State cheer squad, but also has been selected as Cheerleader of the Year.
The honor was given in state competition by the Georgia Cheerleading Coaches Association this past weekend in Columbus.
Sanders said she couldnt believe she was selected as Cheerleader of the Year. I was totally shocked, she said. I looked at the girls next to me, and I was like oh my gosh, I dont know what to do.
Sanders was nominated by her coach, Kim Fleming.
Dawson County has had several cheerleaders make the All-State team over the years, but this is the first-ever Cheerleader of the Year for Dawson County, Fleming said.
More than 200 applicants competed to be on the All-State squad, Fleming said. The applicants are judged on their scholarship application, interview and performance. The athlete with the highest score from all the elements is selected Cheerleader of the Year.
Fleming said Sanders is well-deserving of the honor. Summer is one of the most dedicated athletes I have ever coached, Fleming said. In her four years of high school cheerleading, she never missed a practice, event, community service or competition. She works hard during the season and out of season. ... As her cheerleading coach, I have seen her develop into a well-rounded student athlete that is devoted to cheer, and her enthusiasm for the sport shows every time she enters the gym.
Sanders said she is looking forward to a future in cheerleading. I am planning to cheer in college, she said. I have invested way too much time not to give it a shot.
Sanders said it depends on what college she attends as to how far her cheering will take her. Im hoping it opens up new friendships and doors for me for my future, she said.
Dawson News & Advertiser Intern McKenzie Hamby contributed to this article.