SMHS wins first-ever state championship


The Starr’s Mill Panthers earned their first-ever state championship in cheerleading last weekend at the Columbus Civic Center, while two other Fayette schools finished in the top three.

In the 5-A classification, Starr’s Mill scored 295 points to edge Union Grove (293). The rest of the top five were Ola (290), Northgate (288) and Houston County (286).

The Panthers had the only score of 100 from any of the judges. The other four judges’ scores were 99, 98, 98 and 98. The highest and lowest scores were thrown out, and the other three totaled for the final score. Starr’s Mill had the highest composite score of any team in any classification.

Last year’s 5-A champion, McIntosh High School, came in second to Winder-Barrow in the coed competition after a tiebreaker. Both teams tallied 287 points after throwing out the lowest and highest scores, and the tie was broken using all five judges’ scores.

That gave Winder-Barrow the victory by the narrowest of margins, 476-475. The Chiefs’ scores were 96, 95, 96, 92 and 96.

The next two teams in the coed rankings were Chestatee (286) and Model (283).

Whitewater was right in the mix in the 4-A classification, coming in third with 282 points just behind Cartersville (290) and Carrollton (286).

The Wildcats’ scores were 94, 93, 97, 94 and 94.

Sixteen squads competed in each classification. Final results can be seen at the GHSA web site,

Georgia Public Broadcasting will televise its annual “Cheerleading Special” at 5 p.m. Saturday as well as 6 p.m. Sunday and 7 p.m. Tuesday.