With everything else coming to a sudden stop on the local prep scene, there are two teams that have some unfinished business left.
Both Fort Mill and Catawba Ridge cheerleading teams will be competing in their respective state finals Saturday at the Florence Civic Center. Catawba Ridge will be in the 4A finals starting at 2 p.m. and Fort Mill will be in the 5A finals starting at 6 p.m.
The Jackets, who will be going for their second ever cheerleading title, won a state championship back in 1993. Head coach Haleigh Strayer is in her sixth year at Fort Mill as cheer coach and said she is thankful just to have the opportunity to compete this weekend after everything else in the district has been shutdown when it comes to sports.
“To make it to states was more than we could ask for,” she said. “We have a positive group of kids this year. We are just grateful to be there.”
Fort Mill finished seventh in the state qualifying competition out of the top 12 teams which qualified last Saturday to make the state finals. The Jackets had an overall score of 277, while Lexington was the top qualifier with a score of 320.
“Our number one accomplishment this year was just to get there,” Strayer said. “Winning it would be above and beyond.”
Strayer added her team has a strong work ethic and really bounced back after a struggling performance at the Region 3-5A meet earlier this season. Fort Mill will be taking 21 girls to perform this Saturday.
Catawba Ridge, in just their second year, will be heading to the 4A state finals for the first time and competed in the 3A state finals last year. They are looking for their first state title, not only in the sport, but the first team state title as a school.
Copperheads’ head coach Kristin Rhodes in her second year as head coach for the program said she is excited about Saturday.
“I am feeling very optimistic,” she said. “The team has been very resilient in dealing with COVID and injuries. They have always come out stronger.”
Catawba Ridge has competed in six events this cheer season, winning four of them including the Region 3-4A title. They finished third in the other two and came in third at the 4A state qualifier with a score of 257. Easley was the top qualifier with a 274.
With such a high qualifying score, Rhodes is confident about how they will do and feels like they can finish either first or second. The Copperheads will be taking 20 girls to perform on Saturday and like the 5A competition, there is only 12 teams in the state finals that will be competing.
Mac Banks: firstname.lastname@example.org, @fortprep