2021 was a banner year for sports in Polk County.

Virtually every sports team at Cedartown High School and Rockmart High School found success and several either made deep runs in the playoffs or qualified for state in their respective events.

As we put a bow on 2021, let’s look back at some of the top sporting moments in Polk County in the past year.

One of the best moments for the county came in February when Rockmart’s wrestling team earned its first state championship in 18 years. Coach Drew Lindsey guided 13 of his 14 wrestlers to the GHSA Traditional State Championships in Macon.

Garrett Pace and Dalvin Millhollan won individual state titles and five other Yellow Jackets finished in the top four of their weight class. Their efforts helped Rockmart top area rival Sonoraville for the Class 3A traditional team title. The Jackets finished with 202.5 points, ahead of second place Sonoraville (197) and North Hall (194), who came in third place.

Cedartown softball’s solid finish to the regular season sparked an improbable run in the state playoffs. After finishing fourth in Region 7-4A, the Lady Bulldogs upset Hampton in the first round and Cairo in the Sweet 16 to advance to the GHSA Softball State Championships for the first time in recent history.

Head coach Jaime Monroe produced an extremely memorable season in her first year leading Cedartown’s program, guiding Marycille Brumby and Makayla Jordan to All-State selections and leading the Lady Bulldogs to Columbus.

Rockmart cross country put together another solid season this fall. The Jackets and Lady Jackets, who were both projected to have a down season by their usual standards, instead excelled once more.

Thanks to some strong leadership from an impressive group of seniors, the boys and girls advanced to the Class 3A Cross Country State Championships in Carrollton last month. That accomplishment continues a phenomenal run for Rockmart cross country, who has now qualified for the state championships for 18 consecutive years.

Since the COVID-19 shutdown forced the 2020-21 cheerleading season back a few months, fans in the Peach State were treated to two cheerleading seasons in one calendar year.

In Polk County, this resulted in two trips to the Class 4A State Championships for Cedartown and two trips to the Class 3A State Championships for Rockmart. In February, Cedartown came in sixth in 4A while Rockmart finished fourth in 3A. The Lady Bulldogs were once again sixth in 4A in November’s State Championships, while the Lady Jackets ended up 15th in 3A.

And, finally, both sides of Polk County found plenty of reasons to cheer for their team’s success on the gridiron. Despite all the odds, Rockmart was able to replace several graduated playmakers in 2021 and produce another region championship.

Although injuries ended the Yellow Jackets’ season earlier than they would have liked, coach Biff Parson’s team went undefeated in Region 6-3A play, extending their region winning streak to 39 games.

As for the western side of the county, Cedartown swept Region 7-4A for back-to-back years and made another deep run in the playoffs. After a road win at Perry in the Elite Eight, the Bulldogs advanced to the State Semifinals for the first time since 2001.

Cedartown would eventually fall 22-21 to state runner-up Carver-Columbus in Final Four, but the 2021 season proved one thing for sure: head coach Jamie Abrams has officially revitalized the CHS football program.

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