The Dawson County High School Competitive Cheerleading Squad added its name to the list of region champions this year for the school.
The Lady Tigers captured the Region 7-AAA championship Oct. 7 in Dawsonville.
Coach Kim Fleming's team will travel to Columbus for the state Class AAA championships this weekend.
As of press time, the Lady Tigers were scheduled to perform around 9:45 a.m. Saturday morning at the Columbus Civic Center. The doors to the event will open at 8 a.m. and spectator tickets will be $12 each.
The run to the region championship was special for this year's Dawson County team. With only one senior on the squad, Autumn Stewart, the Lady Tigers easily won the title.
Katie Williamson, this year's manager, is also a senior. She was unable to compete this year due to an injury suffered last season.
"I have never been more proud of a group of athletes. We have had so many struggles this season, we dealt with injuries, mono and concussions all in one season. Trying to stay healthy as a team has been our biggest challenge. We have only had a full team on the mat for three weeks now," Fleming said Monday.
The team scored their highest score of the season at the region competition.
"Hopefully we are peaking at the right time," Fleming said.
Lumpkin County gave the Lady Tigers their toughest competition.
"We haven't seen Lumpkin all season. As a coach, I did not know what to expect from them. They also have good athletes and a new coach," Fleming said.
The GHSA has recognized cheerleading as a sport since 1993.
During that time Fleming has coached teams that have won 18 region titles in 22 years.
Fleming is no stranger to state competition. She has been in Dawson County for 21 years and has coached at the high school for 20 years.
During that time her teams have won 15 region titles and five region runners-up. The 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.
"This team is very special," said Fleming. "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. I am thankful I have the opportunity to coach and do what I love with these girls and their families. 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.