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Lady Gamecock cheerleaders state runners-up

Putting on their best performance of the season and maybe the best performance under pressure in the quarter century history of the program, the Screven County High School Lady Gamecock competitive cheerleaders of Vette Rountree and Mary Helen Harrison finished as the Class AA state runners-up in the GHSA state competition in the Columbus Civic Center on Nov. 11.

“The girls had a great weekend and the best performance of the season,” said Rountree. “I told Mary Helen (Harrison) that it is a good feeling to know that you did your absolute best on the final performance. We always want the girls to throw their best routine at the state competition, but a lot of times their nerves get the best of them. However, that was not the case this weekend.”

Harrison added, “This team has worked so hard all season and finishing as the AA state runner-up was a perfect ending. The girls knew they had to perform their very best routine Saturday and that is exactly what they did.”                                                                                               

The second place finish by SCHS tops their third place finishes in 2015 and 2013. In 2014, the squad had the best raw score in the AA competition but two deductions left them in fifth place.                                                                                                                                     

Before Vidalia’s state title a year ago Region 7AA had claimed 10 titles in a row between Calhoun (5), Coosa (4), and Armuchee (1). The region claimed another title on Saturday as Armuchee was the state champ, but the Lady Gamecocks took second, .33 ahead of Coosa.                                                                                                                                              

“We knew that Armuchee had a routine that could score more points than ours,” pointed out Rountree. “They have more tumbling than we do. We knew if Coosa hit a perfect routine, that we should still be able to edge them out, but Coosa has a ‘name’ in cheerleading and that makes them hard to beat.”                                                                                                           

Armuchee finished with a score of 99.17 to finish well ahead of the pack, but the SCHS score of 95.50 was just enough better than Coosa’s 95.17. 

There was no close fourth as 2AA Bacon County took fourth at 90.00; Pepperell (also of 7AA) was fifth at 88.67; and Bleckley County was sixth at 86.33.                                                                                                                

Scores for the Red and White were easily their best of the season as their degree of difficulty was at the maximum score in jumps, cheer/chant, primary partner stunts, and secondary stunts/tosses. 

Extremely high execution scores were obtained in pyramids (90 percent), jumps (88 percent), standing tumbling (88 percent), running tumbling (88 percent), and secondary stunts (83 percent).               

“This very young team stepped up and put on a show,” said Rountree. “All stunts hit and timing was nearly perfect! All standing tucks landed and running tumbling was nearly perfect. The pyramid was amazing and the girls knew it. Many of them started crying as they came down from pyramid and started the dance; they knew they had put everything on the mat.”            

Of the 19 girls listed on the preseason roster only Destiny Corley, Ansley Dirst, Cassidy Patrick and Zayla Rentz were seniors. 

Seven, better than one-third of the squad, are freshmen.       

The .33 difference between the Lady Eagles of Coosa and the Lady Gamecocks of SCHS was the scores from the three groups of officials on overall composition. 

Out six possible scores of 10, SCHS received a total of 51(8.50) points, while Coosa got 49 (8.17) out of the maximum of60 points.          

Rountree said, “We walked out of there this weekend with our highest scores of the season and left it all on the mat. These girls were truly ‘super’ girls this weekend.”                   

Rounding out the state finalists were Dodge County (86.17), Fitzgerald (85.33), Vidalia (81.17), Washington County (77.83), East Laurens (72.50), Toombs County (71), Putnam County (71), Jeff Davis (68.50), Callaway (63.33), and KIPP International (49.83).                                   

Additionally, Rountree wanted to “thank all of the fans that traveled to see us. Columbus is a long way for a two-and-a-half minute routine, but there was a whole section of red supporting our team.”