Equalling the success of the school’s football team, Augusta Christian’s cheerleading squad walked away with a spirited victory at the Class AAA Game Time Cheer Competition state championships.
The competition took place at AC Flora High School in Columbia on Nov. 10. The Lady Lions made the state title their goal when the competition began in 2005.
“We’ve gone to every single one and we’ve been runner-up three times, never won it,” said cheerleading coach Jaime McKie. “It’s that one elusive thing. It’s great to win a national, but this one has been so elusive. And so frustrating to go there and do what we do and never get it, so it was a big deal.”
Members of the varsity squad were aware of the significance of their achievement. “I was so excited,” said eighth-grader Hannah Hopkins. “It’s like going down in history.”
Teams are judged on choreography, dance, jumps, stunts, difficulty of stunts and pyramids, among other categories. McKie was hard-pressed to note the difference between this year’s routines and previous ones.
“I don’t know,” McKie said. “It’s the truth. We have taken phenomenal routines there and we’ve been called on the craziest things. This year my girls were a good 60 points ahead of anybody behind us.”
The football team of the runner-up, Hammond, would lose to Augusta Christian in the Class AAA state championship game a week later.
“It was awesome. We’ve never been able to win, and to finally get it, it’s like, yeah,” sophomore co-captain Carolyn Hoard exclaimed. “And then our boys won state on top of that.”
In addition to the state title, the Lady Lions were runners-up in the dance category.
“I think this year, especially with the boys winning, we are going to forego a nationals ring and get a state ring like they get,” McKie said. “It was pretty dominant to have two state titles in two weeks.”
The team should be a top contender for years to come. Next year the 20-member team loses just two seniors.