Competition Cheerleaders Land a Perfect Finish

Yunju Lee, Features/A&E Editor

The McIntosh Competition Cheerleaders won first in state on Nov. 16 at the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) for the 5A Division.
The cheerleaders had participated in six tournaments this season and won all six. After the tournaments, they participated in regionals, where they placed first and advanced to state. For the senior cheerleaders, this was their last season.
“Knowing that we were the seniors for this last season, we really wanted this goal of winning state and it was almost like a lot of it was in our hands to lead the team to victory,” said senior Maylen Meszar. “It was just exciting to lead the team and feel like more a part of it than we typically would.”
The cheerleaders arrived at the Columbus Civic Center on Nov. 15. They stepped on to the mat on Nov. 16, smiles intact.
“I felt really confident in what we had to put on the floor,” said senior Lauren Sorian. “I know our coaches gave us all the materials to hit a perfect routine and I felt more confident than nervous. I was very excited to take the floor.”
As soon as the music stopped, the cheerleaders broke out of formation and started hugging each other. Some were crying as they were escorted off the floor.
“We were very emotional because, as seniors, that was our last time that we would be performing our routine with our teammates and probably the last time we would ever compete,” said senior Amelia Benson. “We were very emotional because we knew we did a very good routine and we finished out the best we could.”
On their way back from the competition, the bus the cheerleaders were on was pulled over to the side.
“It was really cool because we started following the police officers and we realized what was happening,” said senior Julianne Elwell. “At every intersection, the police officers were there and they would wave and then they would pass us. Everyone was just screaming.
“When we got to the school, the firetrucks were there and they were spraying water which is why we had to keep the windows up. We got back to the school with all of our parents and we got off the bus and all the police officers and firefighters were there.”
This year, English teacher Lynne Bruschetti was the sponsor of the team and Chris Treherne choreographed the routines. Bruschetti admits that she didn’t know much about cheerleading before this year.
“In high school, I would admire cheerleaders from a distance, but I couldn’t even do a cartwheel,” said Bruschetti. “So this whole experience has been a new world for me. I’ve loved watching the long and challenging process of being introduced to a routine, to practicing it (with many falls) to mastering it. I feel honored to be part of the experience and was thrilled beyond belief when the officials, announcing the AAAAA state winner, said ‘McIntosh.’”
As for the senior cheerleaders, they are proud that they had won first in their division.
“It honestly was the best day of our high school careers,” said Meszar. “It was really exciting to hear our names called because 5A is a difficult division to be competing in, so it was a big accomplishment to win with your best friends.