The trek to Columbus is all too familiar for the Winder-Barrow High School competition cheerleader program.
Yet when the Cheer Doggs add another state title, the trip never gets old. WBHS, led by first-year head coach Courtney Sosebee, returned home this past weekend with another championship trophy, winning first in the co-ed division.
“Winning state and bringing home the school’s sixth state championship was a dream come true for the 2014 Cheer Doggs,” said Sosebee, whose squad earned a score of 287. “After a very challenging season, our goal was just to hit our routine like we knew we could do. I told the kids, ‘You have what it takes. You just have to give it everything you’ve got.’ That is exactly what they did.”
The performance at the Columbus Civic Center was one where WBHS “finished strong,” its coach said. “They performed their hearts out and really came together as a team when it mattered the most,” said Sosebee. “Our motto toward the end of the season was to finish strong and we most definitely did just that. This group of student-athletes is very special to me and this season will be cherished and remembered forever by all of us.”
The 2014 squad included freshmen Hannah Wilson and Mason Pavlik; sophomores Cassie Hunter, Lexi Hansen, Cameron Griffith, Caylor Cash, Anna Bass and Shane Banks; juniors Conner Sims, Trey Loggins and Lindsay Hollis and seniors Madison Stidham, Brandon Moore, Sarah Elisabeth Jordan, Matt Hixson and Peter Bennett.
Ashley Freeman and Clint Whitehead assisted Sosebee in coaching this year’s Cheer Dogg squad.
“After being named the 2014 co-ed State Champion, one of our athlete’s parents commented on Facebook, ‘Looking back over this season, I am reminded of the meaning of the GG. This team truly exemplifies that meaning. Extra effort, perseverance, and strength to overcome many obstacles. To some it may seem like just a group of kids being kids, but to many others this group is an example of how to live life.’ I could not have said it better myself. I feel honored that I have had the privilege of coaching such an amazing group of student-athletes,” Sosebee said.
The championship was gratifying not only for the team members but for their coach as well who stepped in for Jerrie Hulsey, who guided the program to five state titles.
“I knew I had some big shoes to fill coming in,” Sosebee said. “I understood it would be a huge challenge and that I had a lot of eyes on me at the beginning of a new journey for the Cheer Dogg program. There could not have been a better finish to a new beginning as my first year as head coach. I am so excited that we were able to carry on the tradition to another state title. I think I am still in shock that we won. It is all still so surreal. I have high hopes and expectations to continue the success for many years to come. “