Dominque Southern signs with GNTC

LaFayette senior Dominique Southern became one of Georgia Northwestern’s newest Cheer Cats following a ceremony at LHS. Joining Southern (front row, center) were mother Kesha Miller and grandmother Alfreda Miller. On the back row is LHS Athletic Director Tommy Swanson, LHS head cheer coach Nicole Harris, sister Desiree Langston, GNTC assistant coach Rhys Turner, GNTC head coach Karen Stoker and LHS Athletic Director Jeff Suttle. (Messenger photo/Scott Herpst)

Dominique Southern is such an outstanding athlete, she could easily run track in college, the same way she does successfully for LaFayette High School.

But Southern has another passion, one that she plans on pursuing at the next level.

And that next level is Georgia Northwestern.

The senior recently signed on to join the Cheer Cats after impressing head coach Karen Stoker.

“When we scouted LaFayette (High School) cheerleaders during football and basketball seasons, we were drawn to watch her because she is just that good,” Stoker explained. “During her tryouts, her motions were spot on. She was so comfortable with and confident in her dance that it was graceful and her jumps were perfect.

“When she did her toe touch, I thought okay, ‘that is great, but it is only one jump’. When she hit the double toe touch with the same perfection, I thought, ‘Wow! We are on to something’.”

Stoker added that Southern’s tumbling skills were another plus.

“Her standing back tuck was awesome. Her running tumbling was great. She came out with a round-off, back-handspring, layout and nailed it and she wasn’t even out of breath,” the coach said. “Her stunting was just as impressive as everything else. She bases and back spots and that versatility will really help us.”

Southern said it “means a lot” to get to cheer in college.

“I’ve wanted to do this ever since I was in the fifth grade and I think it will be a great experience for me,” she said. “I think I have good showmanship and I think I’m a good leader so I’m looking forward to continuing my cheer career.”

LaFayette head coach Nicole Harris called Southern “a huge asset” to the team.

“She is an outstanding leader and she is always encouraging her teammates,” Harris said. ‘She’s definitely the lively personality of our squad. She works hard day in and day out, never complains and always gives her very best. I will truly miss her, but I know Georgia Northwestern is gaining a great cheerleader and person.”

Stoker said that the Cheer Cats are getting a true athlete.

“Her athletic abilities and her true passion for cheering make her a great cheerleader,” the coach added. “Whether she is on the sidelines or on the competition mat, you just know that’s where she wants to be. She cheers, she jumps, she tumbles, she bases and back spots, all with a smile on her face.

“She is extremely poised for a high school student and we expect great things from her.”

Southern said she wants to study to become a surgical technician.