Like many other cheerleading teams, Veterans High School has been competing in preliminary cheerleading competitions in preparation for regionals.
Both the varsity and the junior varsity teams at Veterans have racked up several first-place finishes.
On Sept. 15, the Warhawks varsity and the junior varsity won first place in their divisions in a competition at Mill Creek High School.
On Sept. 22, the Veterans teams competed again, this time at Woodland High School in Cartersville. The varsity placed first in AAAA competition, outscoring the state champions from Carrollton High School. The junior varsity placed first in their division as well.
The junior varsity has competed in a third competition held at Crisp County High School earlier in September. The team finished in first place in its division. Ninth-grader Ashley Theus, a member of the Warhawks junior varsity team, said competing can be intimidating, especially for a freshman.
It can be nerve-wracking, Theus said. You can get kind of scared and nervous.
Theus is a back spotter -- a cheerleader who stands on the floor and helps to hoist another cheerleader up in the air. She explained the point system involved in scoring cheerleading competitions and the importance of each member on the team doing her job.
If you let the flier fall, they will deduct 10 points from your total. If she hits the floor, it is 15.
Veterans High School cheer coach Dana Burress elaborated on the scoring, saying that in the sport, a perfect score is 300. There are two elements to scoring, degree of difficulty and execution. We are blessed because our varsity team has maxed out on difficulty, so we work on execution, trying to perform each element in the routine as close to perfect as possible. We want to move the score closer and closer to that 300.
Because she is concentrating on her own job during a competition, Theus says it is hard to see the entire performance. But coming off the court after the junior varsitys first competition, Theus said she knew from the audiences reaction that the team performed well.
As soon as you run off, all the stress is lifted off your shoulder. You just get this feeling that the team did good.
Burress understands the fear factor that comes with those first high school competitions.
It is a big deal going from competing at the middle school county championship to a competition like Mill Creek that had 74 teams there. That is one of our goals on JV, to build confidence so that when they come to varsity they will have experience.
Veterans is hosting a cheer competition Saturday at the school: the Warhawk Battle of the Best sponsored by Five Star Automotive Group. The competition will start at 11 a.m. with the middle schools, and the high schools will start at 1 p.m.