For just the fourth time in school history, Dawson County High School is a state champion.
After finishing state runner-up in 2019 and third place in 2020, the Dawson County competitive cheerleading time finally brought the state champion title back to Perimeter Road after competing against the other top-15 3A schools in the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) in Macon, Ga. on Friday, Nov. 19.
“I am extremely proud of our athletes’ performance on the mat,” head coach Kim Fleming said. “I believe we peaked at the right time. We were disappointed in being third in state last year. We were determined not to let it happen again. Athletes and coaches always dream of winning a state title and it only happens to a few. I am so proud and humbled to be a coach of a state champion team.”
As scores came out, Dawson County scored a 93 out of a possible 100 points, with no deductions. The next closest high school, Pierce County from Blackshear, Ga. scored an 87.5.
“Their performance was nothing but amazing,” Fleming said. “They peaked at the right time. They had a flawless routine. I’ve never been prouder of a group of kids...they’re all amazing athletes. They’ve gotten better and better every week and that’s all you can ask for.”
Since starting the competitive cheer program at Dawson County High School in 1995, Fleming has won 20 region championships, six region runner-ups, an appearance in the state tournament every year except one, and 16 top-six finishes at the state tournament. All that was missing as the state championship trophy, according to Fleming.
“Bringing the title back to Dawson County means the world to us,” Fleming said. “We felt we deserved better each of those years. I feel like this is the final piece to the puzzle to show everyone we have a great cheer program at Dawson County.”
Between the region championship meet and the state meet, Fleming made changes to the routine she felt were necessary for the team to have a chance at the state title.
“These girls were extremely coachable and were able to adjust to changes,” Fleming said. “When we were announced to the floor, we had amazing energy thanks to our fans who made the trip to Macon. They were loud throughout the routine and motivated the girls. We hit our best routine of the year when we needed it the most. We knew we could not have done more.”
Seniors Jaida Everett and Caroline Cranford were recognized at the event as all-state cheerleaders, with Cranford awarded a scholarship as the first runner-up for individual cheerleader of the year.