STATE CHEERLEADING: Bearcats win 4th consecutive 6A State Title

The Cullman High School Cheer Team celebrates after being crowned as this year’s 6A State Champions. (Nick Griffin for The Cullman Tribune)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. – There was a familiar sight at the end of Saturday’s AHSAA State Cheer Competition, the Cullman Bearcats claiming the Class 6A State Championship. This year’s title makes four in a row for the Bearcats and there was another local squad in the field as well. The Good Hope Raiders competed in Class 4A and collected a third-place finish in the traditional competition and a sixth-place finish in the 4A/5A Game Day competition. Cullman placed 10th in the 6A/7A Game Day competition. Both Good Hope and Cullman will compete at the UCA National High School Cheerleading Championship in Orlando in February.

Bearcats Head Coach Erica Ball was proud of the way her team performed Saturday and credits a great group of seniors for the consistency that Cullman has shown over the last several years.

“I’m not saying this just because it prints well but the team has really bought in to the idea that consistency is what it’s going to take year after year, and they know that and they bought in,” Ball said. “All of my seniors have been phenomenal. They have led this team and I’m terrified because we’ll lose 10 of them this year and they have set such a tone for the future. They’re a great group, they’ve bought in, they show up day after day for practice and they’re just a great, great group of girls.”

Ball likes the way her team is performing right now and believes Saturday’s win will provide some real momentum for the Bearcats going into the national competition in Orlando in February.

“This is monumental for us going into Nationals,” Ball said. “This is huge and just gives them confidence and reminds them that they can do this and that they’re a championship team. So, this is major for us going into Nationals.”

Saturday was a special day for the Good Hope Raiders as well and head coach Sydney Chappell was thrilled to see her team get a chance to compete in this year’s state competition.

“We’re absolutely so proud for the girls to get to come. It’s a brand new thing they just started last year to have to qualify to go to state so just to be able to get to come is awesome but I would say we just had our best performance of the year so we’re really optimistic and I’ve just seen this team come so far so I’m super proud of them,” Chappell said. “We also got bids to Nationals this year for the first time in a really long time and we’re super excited about that as well.”

Like Ball, Chappell believes that her team’s performance at state is a great boost going into the national competition. It’s been some time since the Raiders have had the chance to compete in Orlando and if you’d like to help this year’s team get to nationals, you can send any donations to Good Hope High School to help cover the costly trip.

“Again, this is the first time in a long time that Good Hope has been able to go to Nationals and it’s just an awesome opportunity. The girls have worked so hard for it so today is definitely momentum-building,” Chappell said. “I would like to say that it is a big cost for our girls to get to go to Orlando so if anyone does want to send donations and help get us there, any checks can made out to Good Hope High School and it’s all tax deductible so any donations would be appreciated.”

6A Traditional Competition

1st – Cullman High School: 87.30

4A Traditional Competition

3rd – Good Hope High School: 76.55

6A/7A Game Day Competition

10th – Cullman High School: 91.90

4A/5A Game Day Competition

6th – Good Hope High School: 85.00

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