Ring­gold cheer­lead­ers eye­ing back-to-back 6-AAA ti­tles

The Catoosa County News - - COMMENTARY - By Scott Herpst

The Ring­gold High School com­pe­ti­tion cheer­lead­ing squad won the Re­gion 6-AAA ti­tle last year, best­ing a field that in­cluded three-time state cham­pion Bre­men and six-time state cham­pion Cal­houn.

And the Blue-andWhite have their sights set just as high in 2017.

An­chored by a group of seven strong se­niors, the Tigers are think­ing big now that the new sea­son has be­gun.

“We’ve been look­ing great so far,” said as­sis­tant coach Chelsea Walker. “We re­cently had our first com­pe­ti­tion, and even though (our rou­tine) wasn’t per­fect, we did see a lot of ar­eas where we can im­prove, so that’s good. We’re re­ally want­ing to make it back-to-back re­gion cham­pi­onships this year.”

Re­gard­less of whether they ul­ti­mately win an­other re­gion ti­tle or not, Ring­gold, along with ev­ery other squad in the state, is assured of a spot in state due to a new GHSA rules change. How­ever, Walker said her team is still mo­ti­vated to win its re­gion and be in the mix for their first state ti­tle.

“We got fifth in state last year and I think (the girls) are com­ing back with a vengeance,” Walker said. “They want to do bet­ter than that this year. We have a re­ally strong re­gion, as far as com­pe­ti­tion cheer­lead­ing goes, and I think (hav­ing all teams at state) is re­ally go­ing to help our re­gion. I think the fifth place team in our re­gion last year would have been top 10 at state, so I think (this change) will be good for our en­tire re­gion.”

Ring­gold will be led by se­niors Addy Allen, Emily Brock, Mariah Clark, Hali Cle­ments, Danna Dal­ton, Cal­lie Gil­bert and Chloe Gray.

“I think this group of se­niors have been lead­ers since they were fresh­men,” Walker ex­plained. “They are al­ways en­cour­ag­ing the rest of the team and get­ting them ready for what’s to come. It’s go­ing to be sad to see them go.”

Be­hind that group is a ju­nior class made up of Made­line Bates, Mad­die Mills and Janna Per­pinan. The sopho­more con­tin­gent in­cludes Bri­anna An­drews, Mary-Kate Bul­lock, Mikayla Cook, Alexa Goolsby, Me­layna Maynor, Ge­orgie Moeller and Mcken­zie Sparks, while Gabi Clarke, Izzy Hood, Makenna Jones, Syd­ney Lo­gan and Laura Smith made up this year’s fresh­man class.

“They are re­ally good at ev­ery­thing and they keep work­ing hard,” Walker con­tin­ued. “We had a lit­tle sit­u­a­tion where we had to go from four stunt groups down to three, but they’ve still been able to hit ev­ery­thing, keep all 16 (cheer­lead­ers) on the floor and hit the hard­est pyra­mid that you can have on the rubric (score sheet).”

Walker said the key to the sea­son is mak­ing it count on that one day.

“That’s what is so good about cheer­lead­ing, in my opin­ion,” she be­gan “”You work all sea­son, go to com­pe­ti­tions and try to find ways to im­prove your score. Ev­ery com­pe­ti­tion gives you an op­por­tu­nity to beat what you did the week be­fore and I think that’s good for a team.”

The Ring­gold High School com­pe­ti­tion cheer­lead­ing se­niors in­clude (from left) Mariah Clark, Emily Brock, Addy Allen, Cal­lie Gil­bert, Hali Cle­ments, Chloe Gray and Danna Dal­ton. (Photo by Scott Herpst)

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