Mustangs obtain a season they will never forget

The Varsity Competition Cheer team ended their season with honor at State.

Bronlyn Holland, Editor in Chief

The Mustang Competition Cheer team brought home second place in Class AAAAA division at the Georgia High School Association’s State Cheer Championship in Columbus Civic Center on Nov. 10. Along with winning second place, Alyssa Sherling, senior, won Georgia Cheerleading Coaches Association’s Cheerleader of the Year.

“I was so excited. It was something I’ve been wanting since freshman year. I remember sitting in the audience and Holly John got Top 16 and thinking ‘Wow I want to get that’. I didn’t want to get my hopes up thinking it would be me, but a lot of people kept coming up to me at different competitions and telling me ‘Oh you’re the winner. You won’…I wanted to think that it wasn’t me because I didn’t want to think it was me then it not be me…When they called Ola out, I knew it was me because I was the only Ola cheerleader in the Top 16,” Sherling said.

For the first time, Sherling walked away with a medal around her neck at the end of the State Championship.

I wanted to think that it wasn’t me because I didn’t want to think it was me then it not be me”

— Alyssa Sherling

“It was an awesome experience, my last one. It was really fun getting to experience everything for the last time and it was really sad knowing it was my last time ever to be a high school cheerleader. It was really good getting second place. It’s the highest I’ve ever gotten since I’ve been there, first time I’ve ever medaled there,” Sherling said.

While most of the team comprised of returning cheerleaders who experienced State before, there were a few first-timers in the mix.

“It was really fun and emotional at the same time. It was emotional because we got our state letters and it made us emotional from what people said…It was really fun because I got to experience what other people get to experience, like I was glad I got the opportunity to perform in front of a lot of people and show them our routine,” Nia Grayson, freshman, said.

Grayson created new friendships and experienced the bond only a family can have.

“I got to meet a lot of people and become friends with a lot of people and we became family. We worked really hard…We had a really strong bond, so that helped,” Grayson said.

Many of the cheerleaders mentioned throughout the season how this was their best season yet.

when I came back it felt like they knew me since forever”

— Dazia Goulden

“From the beginning since tryouts, everybody was sweet and kind. They were welcoming people with open arms. I only knew a few girls on the team, because the last time I cheered was freshman year, so when I came back it felt like they knew me since forever. As we went through the season, a lot of people went through some tragic things and everybody was just there to help them get through it and always checking up on them. We were always concerned for each other…We also got to experience being in a movie together…We never skipped a beat with each other,” Dazia Goulden, senior, said.

Chelsea McCreary, football cheer head coach, noticed the change in dynamics of the team this season.

“In any sport, there’s sometimes division, there’s sometimes cattiness, there’s sometimes lack of effort or lack of skill and this year there was none of that. Everyone came to practice every day…It was like they had a privilege to do this and be an Ola cheerleader and there was no moment where you had to pull people along…We had no alternates this year and no JV program, so we literally were the ‘Sweet 16’ and so they protected each other on and off the floor,” McCreary said.

we literally were the ‘Sweet 16’ and so they protected each other on and off the floor”

— Chelsea McCreary

Many cheerleaders, such as Madelyn Smith, senior, learned new skills this season.  In the past seasons, Smith based, but this year she transitioned into flying.

“It was kinda overwhelming in the beginning, but I ended up loving it a lot more than basing. It gave me more of a sense of accomplishment because I was the one in the air do it,” Smith said.

Even though the cheer season is over, Stacey Schmuhl, competition cheer head coach, is already preparing for next season.

“I’m looking forward to that core group coming back and then learning from what we did right this year and carrying that on…I know everyone is really sad that the season is over, but pretty soon it’s going to kick in to get ready for next season and so my hope is they think about all the great things from this season and they strive to not only repeat that but make it better,” Schmuhl said.