Two Houston County teams won first-place trophies at the Greyhound Invitational cheer competition held last month at Jones County High School.
Warner Robins High School won the AAAAA division, while Perry High School won the co-ed division.
Warner Robins Highs first-place finish seems even more impressive when considering that the cheerleaders arrived at the school at 2:30 a.m. after the Warner Robins High football game in Augusta.
We were back at the school at 7:45 the next morning, said Ami Lenderman, assistant varsity coach. It was tough, but we used it as motivation. You will always face situations during the week, but you have to still be a team, pull together and think that we can do this regardless.
Along with a trophy, the team received feedback from judges about its routine.
It gives us a chance to figure out what we need to fix and help us to improve for the next competition, said Kristina Jones, an 11th-grader and a three-year member of the varsity Warner Robins High team. It also gives us more confidence knowing that our team has the ability and talent to win first place.
Cathy Heller, head coach of Perry Highs competition cheer team, explained that her team had been changing its routine to some degree all season while preparing for sectional competition.
We add things that are more creative, more difficult. A cheerleader maybe has learned a new skill in tumbling class, so we will add that, Heller said.
Perry High began competing in the co-ed division about four years ago.
We had some boys that expressed interest in cheerleading, and they tried out, Heller said.
About 32 teams in the state have co-ed teams, and, Heller said, about 90 percent of those are in the Atlanta area. Because of its co-ed status in cheerleading, Perry High competes not in regional competitions but in sectionals.