The Briarwood Academy varsity and middle school cheerleaders both brought home first place trophies from the Heart of Georgia cheerleading competition last weekend in Perry.
"It was a great day, and I am very proud of my girls," said varsity coach Amy Hadden, whose varsity cheerleaders will participate in the year's final competition, the Georgia Independent School Association state competition at the fairgrounds, also in Perry, next Saturday. "It was a positive experience for us, which really boosted our morale and will send us into the state competition on a high note."
The Briarwood Academy varsity and middle school cheerleaders both captured first place in their divisions in the Heart of Georgia cheerleading competition last week in Perry. They include: (from left, first row) middle school coach Mary Lynn Reese, middle school cheerleaders Taylor Rabun, Kristian Dawson, Ashlyn Dent, Mary Ashley Gibson, Maggie Keene, Shannon Newsome, Lindsey Burnley, Anna Goolsby, Caitlin Burnside, Paige Sullivan, Grace Blackmon-Hughes, Hannah Wilson, Savannah Carani, (center row) Morgan Reese, Prater Thigpen, Rachel Coxwell, (third row) varsity cheerleaders Britt Edwards, Liz Grant, Courtney Price, Ali Dyson, Amy McGee, Melisa Newsome, Samantha Jenkins, Amanda Rutkowski, Cassie Pickrell, Abby McAvoy, Heather Neal, Brooke Wiley, Ashleigh Newsome, Caitlyn Quinn, Joy Dudley, Jessica House and varsity coach Amy Hadden.
In addition to placing first in the AA division in varsity cheerleading, the Briarwood varsity cheerleaders received the Best Choreography award in the varsity division for both AA and AAA, and junior Amanda Rutkowski won the tumbling competition for both AA and AAA.
The sixth, seventh and eighth grade middle school cheerleaders, competing on the junior varsity level, finished their season at the Heart of Georgia, having placed first in all three of their competitions this season.
"They were awesome! I couldn't be more proud," middle school coach Mary Lynn Reese said. "They've worked hard, and they've been rewarded for their hard work and expertise by winning first place in each competition we've entered.
"Not only are we the only middle school that competes, we're competing in the junior varsity division (eighth, ninth and tenth grades) against AAA schools," she continued. "That makes our wins even more significant."
The middle school Buc cheerleaders defeated both AAA Tattnall Academy of Macon, and AAA Westfield School of Perry, to take first place overall in the Heart of Georgia competition.
In other competition, Prater Thigpen placed first in the tumble off; Shannon Newsome, Caitlyn Burnside, Anna Goolsby, Lindsey Burnley and Hannah Wilson placed first in the stunt group competition; and Newsome, Wilson, Burnley and Grace Blackmon-Hughes placed first in the lib off competition.
Competition routines for both teams include judging on motions and dance, tumbling, jumps, stunts and pyramids, choreography, voice and loudness, and performance and showmanship.