From Staff Reports
Dalton High’s cheerleading squad advanced through a grueling sectional round on Friday, competed in the finals on Saturday and ended with a sixth-place finish in the Class 4A state competition at the Columbus Civic Center.
The Lady Catamounts, who finished runner-up to Cedartown at the Region 7-4A competition, were one of eight teams to advance to Saturday’s finals by scoring well enough in Friday’s competition, which included the second- through third-place teams from each region. The eight region champions were waiting for those sectional qualifiers in Saturday’s finals, and Dalton finished ahead of Cedartown in the end.
Veterans won the Class 4A title, while Columbus was second, followed by Carroll-ton, South Effing-ham and Locust Grove. Northwest Whitfield, which took third in Region 7-4A, also advanced from Friday’s sectional and finished 13th in Columbus.
For Dalton, it was the second sixth-place finish in a row at state.
“For two teams from our region to make it out of sectionals, that just shows how good our region was this year,” Lady Cats coach Tami Fleming said. “On Friday, we had several big mistakes, or what I would call big mistakes, but the way we have our routine choreographed, we are working the score sheet throughout the routine so it didn’t hurt us to much. Then we got to the finals and had a very solid routine.”
The performance at state capped off an outstanding year. In six competitions during the regular season, Dalton finished first at Coosa, Kennesaw Mountain, Heritage-Catoosa and Gordon Lee. Fleming’s squad was second in its other two regular season meets.
The Lady Cats were led by nine seniors — Taylor Behr, Lexi Chastine, Rachel Bakker, Morgan Coker, Massey Swanson, Ashton Wong, Adelia Robinson, Madison Ellis and Taylor Wood.
“I am very proud,” Fleming said. “We had a really tough division this year, and it helped having those nine seniors on the floor and they really pulled it out on the second day.
“It is like losing your entire starting offense for football, but we have a lot of younger girls who are chomping at the bit to make their mark as well.”