Since 2001, Lakeside has dominated the cheerleading scene in Columbia County.
The competition squad has won the region championship five of the past six years, including a third consecutive title Dec. 3 in Oconee County.
The Lakeside squad, made up of mostly seniors, didn't stop in Watkinsville, Ga.
Lakeside took third place Saturday at the Georgia High School Association AAAA state cheerleading competition in Columbus.
The finish was the best in school history.
"We're all still a little in shock," Lakeside cheerleading coach Christa Burch said. "I'm really proud of all the girls."
The Panther squad scored 239 points out of a possible 300 for the third-place finish, and was the only Columbia County school to reach the state championship competition.
The Greenbrier, Evans and Harlem squads saw their seasons end at the state sectionals Friday.
"Besides having the talent, we just focused on beating ourselves instead of the other schools," Lakeside captain Lauren Chandler said. "It's the best way to finish my senior year."
The squad has 11 seniors on the team this year. After winning the region title two weeks ago, the Lakeside girls were able to skip sectional qualifying and earned an automatic bid to the state championship competition.
"I honestly do think that helped," Chandler said. "Nobody wants to compete at that the first day."
Fortunately, the stress of a competitive state playoff didn't completely get to Burch. The Lakeside cheerleading coach is 37 weeks pregnant.
Despite a due date of Dec. 29, Burch still traveled with the team to Watkinsville and Columbus for the region and state competitions.
"Right when we walked off the floor we all said, 'OK, you can have the baby now,'" Chandler said.
"My last one was a month early," Burch said of her 3-year-old daughter. "It's a relief I can have the baby now."
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