Oak Grove cheerleaders, dance team take state championship

By BUSTER WOLFE,

Long, hard months of work turned into a weekend of celebration for two groups of Oak Grove High School performers when the OGHS cheerleaders and the Golden Spirits dance team captured state championships.

The cheerleaders captured the Medium Varsity Division State competition among 12 teams, while the Golden Spirits won first place in Large 5A/6A Kick (five teams) and Jazz (four teams).

Cheerleader coach Ashley Burdine said she was excited that her seniors were able to repeat their 2015 championship.

“I am so thrilled that our seniors are going to graduate with two state championships,” she said of her 21 girls. “We had tryouts in March and they have really worked hard every day to get to this point.”

The cheerleaders include seniors Madi Eguia, Carley Hand and Natalie Rahaim, juniors Hannah Arnold, Carrington Brown, Carly Kendrick, Katelynn Littlejohn, Jordan Newell and Malaysia Thomas, sophomores Jillian Adams, Riley Atkinson, Presley Bonner, Tavia Keys, Laundin Lang, Kayla Parker and Megan Payne and freshmen Leyton Bonner, Shea Jorns, Mary Beth Kavanaugh, Hope Weathersby and Tate Woolbright.

Golden Spirits coach Casey Morrison also praised the hard work of her girls in capturing two state championships – the first time Oak Grove has taken home the top awards in two competitions.

“We started learning the routines in August for both competition routines,” she said. “The girls practice every day at school to prepare, worked with choreographers and did extra classes to work on technique.”

The girls competed last Friday in four divisions – Kick, Jazz, Pom, Hip Hop.

 In Kick, the music is limited to no more than two minutes and must have at least 50 kicks in it.

Morrison said the group has fantastic teamwork.

“This group of girls really works well together,” she said. “They lifted each other up and put in 110 percent of their effort. It really takes a lot of time and discipline to get a routine, especially a jazz or kick routine, to come together because so much of it requires the team to be in unison.”

The Golden Spirits will be taking both routines to the UDA National Dance Competition in February at DisneyWorld.

Members of the team are Blythe Buys, Emma Cochran, Mary Grace Cochran, Ali Cullop, Chloe Davis, Camryn English, Katherine Fasnact, Jane Granberry, Mollie Harvey, Callie Anne McCarty, Lindsey Moore, Makenna Phillips, Avery Stephan, Anna Lea Weathers and McKenzie Woodard.

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