After winning the Lower State 3A Competitive Cheer last Monday, the Beaufort High Cheer Team will compete for a state championship Nov. 15 in Greenville.
It is the first time since 2001 that Beaufort High’s Competitive Cheer Team has reached the finals, and excitement runs high — even for cheerleaders.
“To win Lower State is amazing for us, to see how our squad just really pulled together and executed everything with smiles and then tears after they finished,” said BHS Cheer Coach Corrie Zimmerman.
“I’m very proud of what we have accomplished this season, and we are working hard to do well at the State Competitive Cheer Finals.”
At a typical cheerleading competition, teams perform a two-and-half-minute routine with music that includes stunts, jumps, tumbling, cheers and dance. Teams are judged by a panel of cheerleading experts on difficulty and execution.
In Monday’s Lower State Finals, Beaufort outdistanced the second-place finisher by 20 points. In the State 3A finals, they will compete against 15 similar-sized schools from across South Carolina, including perennial powerhouse Chapin High School.
The finals will be held Saturday, Nov. 15, at Bon Secours Arena in Greenville.
“Competitive cheer is a huge leap from what most people think of when they think of cheerleading,” Zimmerman said. “Our team has a great time cheering for Beaufort High’s sports teams, but the competitions are our chance to put it all together in a showcase of stunts, tumbling and dance. We’ve had a great season and our seniors have really stepped up with their leadership.”
She pointed to the team’s strong foundation skills that came from former Cheer Coach Kathy Ingram’s steadfast desire for perfection. “Kathy has helped us with the finer points of competitive cheer — she knows so much about what makes a routine work and what the judges really want to see.”
The Beaufort High Cheer Team won first place at the Patriot Lowcountry Classic competition last month at Fort Dorchester High School.
“Our cheerleaders, the young women and our two young men, work so hard not only in practice but also with their tumbling and their dance,” Zimmerman said. “Some of them go to tumbling practice in Bluffton on weeknights or Saturdays, and several of our cheerleaders are in the advanced dance classes at Beaufort High. It’s an all-around effort.”