AHS Competition Cheer Team Earns State Title

Maggie Dillard, Staff Writer

The 2022 Armuchee High School Competition Cheer Team recently earned their first State title in four years in November. The team’s head coach, Kelli Stamey, said, “My favorite memory from State is when we returned to AHS for our celebration with our community. There were so many people there to cheer for us and they shot off fireworks too!” Coach Stamey has now led four of her teams to a first-place trophy at the GHSA State Championship. The team’s assistant coach, Jennifer Dougherty, said, “In my opinion, setting a goal and staying dedicated to it no matter what is what led this team to a State title.”

The week of the State Championship the team works hard so that their hard work pays off in the end. Olivia Dorsey, a Junior on the AHS Cheerleading Squad, said, “The week leading up to State was so exciting and stressful at the same time. We had to realize that the upcoming weekend was what all of the season was for. It was also very sad because Desiree would be leaving.” Desiree Espy, the only senior on the squad, had a mixture of emotions. Espy said, “Before they called our name I truly believed we didn’t make the top 5 because I knew how close the scores would be and I could not fathom that it was actually possible to win. So when they called our name I was in complete shock,I could not believe that it actually happened. At first, I didn’t even know how to react. I just put my hand over my mouth and hugged everyone.” Espy was also able to design the rings along with both of the team’s coaches. Stamey says, “I was so happy that Desiree was getting a ring for Comp Cheer!  It is a very special time. We do try to keep some tradition and have something from previous rings relate to the new one.” Leading up to the State Championship, there were many obstacles along the way. 

One of the biggest obstacles was when one of our athletes got injured and had to be taken out for a month which was hard because we couldn’t all do stunts. Peyton Falk, a Sophomore athlete, said, “However, these obstacles have made us stronger because they teach us how to push ourselves and work through the issue.” Due to these obstacles, this team has grown a stronger bond throughout the season. Stamey said, “This has been one of the closest teams I have coached.  There really were not any cliques on the team.  They all could hang out together and enjoy each other’s company with very little drama.”

 This strong bond is important to the team because it helped them reach their end goal. Espy said, “We all acted like a family and were all determined to reach our goal.” Determination was a key factor in this team’s State title. Stamey said, “At the competition before Sectionals we placed 3rd among most of the team’s in our Region.  We were not pleased with 3rd place and I think that lit a fire in these girls to push even harder during the last 2 weeks of the season.  It paid off with a 1st place at Sectionals and State.” These girls were together through everything, from hard summer practices to hanging out after practice for fun. Congratulations to the GHSA Single A State Cheerleading Champions, Armuchee.