Looking to defend their 2018 regional title, the Dawson County varsity competition cheerleaders hosted the Northeast Georgia Cheerleading Regional finals on Saturday, Nov. 9 in the Ford Phillips Arena.
Wrapping up the 24th season under head coach Kim Fleming, the Lady Tigers were looking to add to an already impressive resume of 17 regional titles over two decades with four of those trophies coming in AAA competition since 2014.
Competing with teams from East and North Hall, Lumpkin County, Cherokee Bluff and Greater Atlanta Christian the Lady Tigers were the first team to take the mat for the day’s performance. A position that was both good and bad in the eyes of Fleming.
“We like to go towards the end so that we can see what we are up against,” Fleming said. “But this way, we get to come out and set the standard.”
Led by senior Chloe Harper in her final home appearance with the squad, the Lady Tigers definitely set the standard as they performed a flawless rendition of a routine honed over weeks of competition.
Performing a series of stunts and tumbles that are an intricate combination of dance moves, gymnastic flips and tumble, and strength demonstrations in the forms of pyramids and flying maneuvers the team is judged for their grace, precision and poise.
As they have done all season, the squad turned in a flawless performance and almost openly challenged the remainder of the field to do better.
Despite what appeared to be an impeccable routine, every member of the team immediately set about breaking down the show, on both a personal and team level, looking for what could be improved upon as they planned for the GHSA State Finals coming up on Nov. 16.
“We were not as clean as last week,” Fleming said. “Not much off, but we can definitely clean it up.”
Coach Fleming may be right, but at the end of the day, the judges did not see enough wrong to deny the Lady Tigers their seventh, and thus far most important victory of the season, as they announced Dawson County as the Class AAA Region Champions for the second consecutive season.
Along with the trophy, the Lady Tigers are awarded a bye through the first round of sectionals in the upcoming state tournament, allowing the team to move directly to the championship round of the GHSA State Finals.
Dawson County will take the floor for the final time this year on Nov. 16 in Columbus, Georgia when they compete to be named state champions.