Her­itage cheer­lead­ers eye­ing re­gion re­peat

Walker County Messenger - - Sports - By Scott Herpst

Af­ter a Re­gion 6-AAAA championship and a fifth-place fin­ish at the Class AAAA state meet in 2016, the Her­itage com­pe­ti­tion cheer­lead­ing squad is back look­ing for more in 2017.

Head coach Cassey Camp­bell and her staff said their team is mo­ti­vated to im­prove their skills and fine­tune their rou­tine as they work to­ward the re­gion meet later this fall.

“We’re look­ing good, although we do still have some im­prove­ments to make,” Camp­bell said. “We’ve been to a cou­ple of com­pe­ti­tions so far, so we know where we need to go and we know that we have a ways to get there.

“But the girls are working hard. We’ve even had two-a-days prac­tice some days, so they are put­ting in a lot of work and I think we’ll even­tu­ally get to where we want to go.”

Camp­bell said she is count­ing on and lean­ing heav­ily on a quin­tet of ex­pe­ri­enced se­niors, which is made up of Rachel Body, Ter­ran Hill, Ha­ley Mor­ton, Kait­lyn Moyer and Hal­lie Wil­son.

“We have a lot of se­niors this year, so our ex­pe­ri­ence is def­i­nitely go­ing to help us,” she con­tin­ued. “We ask a lot of our se­niors and we ex­pect a lot of them. We don’t have (team) cap­tains. We just use our se­niors as our lead­ers and we ex­pect them to be on the same page, to en­cour­age the rest of the team, to get prac­tice started and things like that.”

The Navy-and-Red also have a large group of ju­niors in Kayla Am­burn, Mcken­zie Gos­sett, Kaylie Guinn, Sarah LeVan and Traevin Pen­land.

Be­hind them is a sopho­more con­tin­gent in­clud­ing Mea­gan Ap­ple, Erin Jus­tice and Gracy Smith, while a tal­ented fresh­man class is made up of Sa­van­nah Carter, Tayler Cole­man, Mag­gie Wil­cox and Khe­ley Wil­son.

Camp­bell said her team is al­ready deal­ing with the dreaded in­jury bug.

“We’ve al­ready had to over­come a lot of ad­ver­sity this year, but I think that will end up be­ing a ben­e­fit for us this sea­son,” she ex­plained. “We’ve had had three or four girls, who are re­ally im­por­tant to the team, that are al­ready out with injuries, so our girls re­ally have had to come to­gether. We’ve had to bring some al­ter­nates in and they have re­ally stepped up, so it’s been in­ter­est­ing to watch them nav­i­gate that.”

Her­itage left Colum­bus last Novem­ber with a fifth­place show­ing at the state fi­nals. And while be­ing one of the top teams in Class AAAA is a point of pride, Camp­bell said her

squad has its sights set even higher this time around.

“The goal is to beat (fifth place) this year,” she added. “The ul­ti­mate goal is to win it all and we’re re­ally go­ing for that, but as long as we place higher than fifth, I think we’ll con­sider it a suc­cess­ful sea­son. The road to get there is sim­ply hard work and (hav­ing) pos­i­tive at­ti­tudes.”

The Her­itage High School com­pe­ti­tion cheer­lead­ing se­niors in­clude (from left) Ter­ran Hill, Kait­lyn Moyer, Ha­ley Mor­ton, Rachel Body and Hal­lie Wil­son. (Photo by Scott Herpst)

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