The Dawson County High Competition Cheerleaders are in celebration mode after placing sixth in Saturday's state completion at the Columbus Civic Center.
With only eight points separating third and sixth place, the Lady Tigers were proud of their score and excited to be among the six teams recognized on the mat.
"Some of my favorite memories of cheerleading have happened on the yearly state trips," said Senior Autumn Stewart last week. "I'm sad this is my last year, but I'm so excited to perform."
The Lady Tigers easily captured the Region 7-AAA championship Oct. 7 in Dawsonville.
"I'm so excited to be region champs and going to state my senior year," Stewart said Thursday as the team prepared for the bus ride to Columbus.
Manager Katie Williamson is also a senior. She was unable to compete this year due to an injury suffered last season.
The run to the region championship was special for this year's Dawson County team.
"We have an awesome team this year," Stewart said.
Tigers Coach Kim Fleming's teams that have won 18 region titles in 22 years.
"This team is very special," she said. "With only having one senior on the mat competing, they are a very young team, but eager to work and learn. Their hard work this season has earned them a region championship."
Fleming's Lady Tigers have qualified for state 20 times and been in the state finals 19 out of those 20 years, with several top five finishes.
"I am thankful I have the opportunity to coach and do what I love with these girls and their families," Fleming said. "I am blessed to be the DCHS competition cheer coach. We are looking forward to rocking the floor at state with another strong performance."
Members of this year's team are: Seniors - Autumn Stewart and Katie Williamson (manager); juniors, Brittney Brown, Hallie Crumley, Sydney Davis, Hannah Kellar, Ciarra King, Ana Swanger, Lexi Warner; sophomore Kaylee Pirkle; freshmen, Kiki Barker, Courtney Brown, Abby Cotter, Hanna Davenport, Kiara Marshall and Nicole Mulkey.
Staff writer Pam Jacobs contributed to this story.