After weeks of competitions, it’s time for cheerleading squads around the Rome area to make it or break it as they compete in the region competitions in Carrollton today, the prelude to the GHSA State championship.
The two biggest teams of interest are Coosa and Armuchee, two squads with plenty of championship experience. Coosa won the Region 7-AA competition last season — its third in four years — but Armuchee still qualified and won the Class AA state championship in Columbus.
Coosa coach Craig Bing said his team is coming off losing multiple seniors, but has responded well, winning all five of its competitions so far.
“We were kind of unsure at first of how this group of seniors would lead the team,” Bing said. “We had girls who had never cheered before and a big freshman class, but so far so good. We’ve just had a really successful year and formed a solid team.”
Bing said that since the first competition on the year he has seen his team focus on each other, a sign that pointed to a successful season. He said this selflessness has been vital to the development of some of the younger competitors.
Bind said he wants his team to simply focus on being the best they can be for this competition, a mentality he believes has helped the Lady Eagles be so successful in competitions this season.
Armuchee, meanwhile, was dealt a significant blow when one cheerleader recently went down with an injury and another moved out of the Armuchee area. Coach Kelly Stamey has reinforced that the team remain optimistic and just try its best today.
“We have lost two girls this week, so we are just trying to do our best and piece everything together.” Stamey said.
Stamey has been proud of her team for making improvements every week while dealing with a difficult routine. She also preached to her team about last season’s results, pointing out that regionals does not have to be won to compete in state.
The competition is all day today and will be hosted by Carrollton High School. There will also be teams representing six other GHSA regions competing.
Meanwhile, Model will travel with its co-ed squad to Columbus this weekend to compete in sectionals against fellow co-ed teams. Coach Rachel Smith said this is the best team she has coached in her seven years at the school, and the team is determined to qualify in the top 10 and make it to the State competition.
“We are going to be bringing some competition to all those big 5A and 6A teams,” Smith said. “I am determined to get a trophy this season, and so is the rest of my team.”