James Clemens cheerleaders win state championship
In addition to school teams, the cheerleaders at James Clemens High School have something to cheer about — themselves.
James Clemens cheerleading squad won the state AHSAA cheer competition (Alabama High School Athletic Association) at Wallace State University in Hanceville on Nov. 17. James Clemens competed against eight teams in the 6A category.
James Clemens also has won at regional competition with the Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA), sponsor Andrea Alexander said.
Seniors on the squad are captains Ariel Abrams, Kristine Kirkland, Reagen Martin, Jennifer Perry and Gabrielle Winn. Juniors are Leanna Clark, Kylie Clem, Andi Coombs, Stephanie Haddock, Emily Hardy and Lyndsay Jackson.
Sophomores include Sydney Caudill, Ashlee Crull, Kaylan Hampton, Abbie Johnson, Robin Kincaide, Lizzie Marlow, Aly McKaig, Sutton Parker, Lexi Russell and Kenedey Williams.
From the freshman class are Cayla Alexander, Jada Bates, Lauren Clem, Taylor Holt, Maddie Morris and Caroline Payne.
In Hanceville, the squad competed in a 2.5-minute routine and performed “a music portion that consists of squad tumbling and six stunt groups. In the middle of their routine, they perform a cheer to get the crowd involved. They end their routine with music that has a dance and an ending pyramid,” Alexander said.
Gymnastic moves in the routine involved squad pike toe-touch tucks, standing backhand spring tucks and round-off handspring fulls. Their uniforms feature white tops and skirts with James Clemens’ logo and navy bodysuits.
Hearing they were champions, the James Clemens students “were jumping up and down, hugging each other,” Alexander said. “There were many tears, because they have worked so hard. They finally felt like they’ve achieved something as the first James Clemens cheer squad. To win the first state championship for James Clemens is an honor.”
The squad will travel to Orlando for UCA Nationals on Feb. 9-10.
“As you can imagine, we are excited and proud (of our cheerleaders),” James Clemens principal Dr. Brian Clayton said. “Also, our boys varsity basketball team won the first basketball game over Butler High School on Nov. 16. We’re flying on ‘Jet Fuel.'”