Cheerleaders from 24 schools across northeast Georgia gathered on the campus of Dawson County High School on Saturday, Sept. 8 for the 23rd annual Tiger Cheer Classic.
Featuring teams competing at all levels and in all regions, the all-day affair was a whirlwind of activity from the performances on the mat to the raucous enthusiasm of the large crowd gathered for the event.
Despite a brief scare when a section of the team’s pyramid collapsed, sending girls tumbling to the floor, the Dawson County Tigers varsity cheerleaders opened their season with a monumental first place finish, winning the classic with an overall score of 89.17, a full 28 points ahead of their nearest competitor.
“Overall it was a fantastic performance,” Head Coach Kim Fleming said. “We missed some elements on one pyramid, but the girls never let it show on their faces.”
Outside of the one error, the routine moved flawlessly through an intricate series of tumbles, flips and dance maneuvers mixed with a combination of lifts and throws that demonstrated the athleticism and fitness of this year’s team.
“This is a very athletic team that works extremely hard,” Fleming said. “We know we have room for improvement and I sure we will get better as the season progresses.”
Fleming was not the only one excited about the team’s prospects for the season. As one of five returning seniors to this year’s team, Kiara Marshall also felt like the day set a good standard for the rest of the season.
“I felt like today was a pivotal moment for our team,” Marshall said. “Seeing how we perform together really makes me optimistic for the future competitions and I have no doubt that we will be super successful.”
The team will be in action again on Sept. 14 when they head to North Gwinnet High School for their second tournament of the season.