There was a “one-two punch” by Madison schools at the recent State Cheer Competition held at Wallace State in Hanceville.
Both James Clemens High and Discovery Middle School were winners in the competition while both Bob Jones High and Liberty Middle School were runners-up in the day-long event.
In its first year of existence, the James Clemens squad won the Class 6A title in what many are calling a surprise winner against the perennial top cheer programs in the state, including cross-town rival Bob Jones.
“It was a big surprise for everyone,” said Andrea Alexander, James Clemens cheer coach. “Our goal was just to hit our routines as best as we could and not really think about winning a state title.”
James Clemens quickly came together after breaking away from Bob Jones this school year. The two squads did not compete against each other until the State Meet.
Squads from all over the state were on hand for the competition. Bob Jones performed their routine prior to James Clemens taking to the position in front of the judges. Once the squad began its two and a half minute routine, the Jets purred to perfection.
“I told our squad all week in practice the competition would be very tough and just to do our best is all any of us could want,” said Alexander. “We hit every portion of our routine. It seemed the differences between our routine and the performance of the Patriots was ours was better overall and our team tumbling was superb.”
The Discovery Panthers took the Medium Junior High division with Liberty taking second place. The squad’s coach, Emily Parker, said, “The girls worked extremely hard for the competition season and have grown, not only with their personal skill level, but as a squad. They all push each other to succeed. They really understand the concept of teamwork.”
The Jets of James Clemens and the Panthers of Discovery now gear-up for the National Championship Competition to be held in February of 2013 at the Wide World of Sports at Disney World in Orlando, Fla.
To help raise the necessary funds for the trip to the Nationals, James Clemens will host a Cheer Clinic at the school on Saturday, Dec. 8.
“We plan on continuing to set our goals high and improving as a squad,” said Parker of her squad at Discovery. “They are a wonderful group of girls and I am very blessed to get the chance to coach them. I am very proud of their accomplishments thus far and have complete confidence in them for nationals.”