State cheer champs back on mats with sea­son open­ing win

The Standard Journal - - SPORTS - From staff re­ports

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.

Con­tributed photo / Stan­dard Jour­nal

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.

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