Thomas County Central High School Competition Cheerleaders are in the midst of their season.
The team already has several competitions and placements under its pompoms and more opportunities to show off their skills and compete against other teams are scheduled, including a region showdown in November.
It all began when the Thomas County Competition Cheerleaders stung the Bainbridge Bearcats in the South Georgia Cheer Fest, held Sept. 20 in Moultrie. They placed first.
“Taking first place at our first competition was big for us,” Coach Ashley Lawrence said. “We have so much talent this year but with both new and returning cheerleaders being nervous during that first competition, you always just hope to survive with no injuries. To win was a great confidence boost.”
The two minute, 30 seconds routine “consists of standing and running tumbling, a partner stunts section, a cheer section, a dance section and a pyramid section,” Lawrence said.
Thomas County cheerleaders have a motto of “one heart, one team, one dream.” Cheerleaders are motivated and consistently practice to stay on top of their game.
“We practice our hardest to prepare ourselves for the big event,” cheerleader Sydney Morgan said of prepping for competition.
Since Bainbridge, TCCHS has competed at Columbus and Vidalia.
At Columbus, they placed fourth over Worth County, Bainbridge and Crisp County. The group increased its raw score to 196, a big accomplishment according to Lawrence.
“The girls were a little disappointed in their tumbling and stunts when they came off the mat because they know that they can nail everything in our routine,” she said. “But, I think it took seeing those scores for the girls to recognize that this is a reality. We can win region, but we have to kill it at practice and improve each week.”
The Vidalia competition, held Oct. 18, was the most energetic Lawrence said she’d seen from the school’s competition team in three years. The team earned a second place trophy, and cheerleaders Amber Stephens, Baylee Hanright, Kendall Salter, Ansley Manning and Bailey Stewart won the longest liberty stunt competition and received medals.
“Even though two of our partner stunts came down during the switch up, we increased our score to the highest score yet, a 197,” she said. “We were within one point from Perry, who beat us in Columbus by eight points. That right there definitely shows our progress.”
This Saturday the team will travel to Tifton to compete against Americus-Sumter, Bainbridge, Crisp, Worth and West Laurens. There are two competitions left before region, which is Nov. 8 in Macon at Mercer University.
“Hard work will get us where we need to be to beat anyone we face,” cheerleader Katie Johnson said. “We know we can do it.”