State cheer champs back on mats with season opening win
The Cedartown Lady Bulldogs competition cheer squad is back in action, and the defending state champions are keeping their winning streak alive opening with a first place finish over the weekend.
Head coach Brigitte Tillery said the team beat out Cartersville, Central Carroll, Heritage-Catoosa, and Lafayette to extend the win streak after a undefeated 2016 season to 9-0.
She said with her current group of seniors on the team, they have combined more than 20 wins over the past three seasons and are looking to add more as they look to make it back to the state finals in Columbus in November.
Pepperell High School hosted the Lady Bulldogs and other teams for the first time back on the blue mats for the 2017 season, and Tillery said her squad opened with a great performance for the year, even with a change in the scoring sheets this season.
“We have 10 returning cheerleaders and all 10 are great leaders for the team. We added three freshman and those three have stepped up to the expectations of this squad,” Tillery said over the weekend. She added that despite last year’s success, each week is going to have to be earned by the Lady Bulldogs, and there will always be room for improvement.
“These girls are dedicated to this sport and they have the determination to perform to the highest level of the score sheet possible, individually and as a team,” Tillery said.
“The routine is full of running and standing tumbling, jumps, stunts, and a powerful pyramid and those combinations of skills take hours upon hours to achieve success.” Tillery added that “We make it a goal each week to improve our score, and that will be our goal for the coming week. We have to beat ourselves each week and keep our focus on our improvements.”
Coach Jennifer Ruff added that “The girls looked great and we were so excited for their performance and proud of how well they performed their first competition of the year. It is always nice to find a starting point in the season and look ahead to improvements and success.”
The Lady Bulldogs are back in action this weekend on Saturday Woodland High at noon.
The Cedartown Lady Bulldogs cheer squad includes back from left: Khristyle Walton, Emilee Grace Zuker, Chloe Lee, Lizzie Lee, Shae Smith, Raegan Westmoreland and Reagan Peek; front, from left: Jayla To, Ashlyn Shaw, Lauren Lindsey, Baylee Davenport, Grayson Smith and Emily Haney.