For the first time in school history, the Cornerstone Preparatory Academy’s competition coed cheerleading squad won the title of FCC (Fellowship of Christian Cheerleaders) National Grand Champion in the varsity school division. The team also earned first place in the varsity coed intermediate school division at the FCC competition in Orlando, Florida, last month.
The Cougars headed into the national competition undefeated, with first place wins at the FCC Fall Classic, FCC Impact Kickoff Classic, GAPPS (Georgia Association of Private & Parochial Schools) State Championship, and the FCC Georgia State Championship.
“We stepped out in faith, not knowing what the season would hold, and were totally blown away by the outcome,” said head coach Holly Guice.
At the beginning of the season, the Cornerstone coaches weren’t sure if they’d even have enough interest to form a full team.
“Being part of a small school has amazing benefits and blessings, but can bring about challenges with a small pool of interested athletes,” Guice said. “This year, after tryouts, we had eight athletes who made the team. We were still in need of at least three to four more to make the team complete.”
Guice and assistant coach Angela Eeles offered two more opportunities for tryouts, with no success. At the end of the summer of 2019, there was still uncertainty about moving forward and having a cheerleading squad.
Senior Laney Wetter asked the coaches about the possibility of making the team coed. The coaches were open to the idea and Cornerstone Head of School Marsha Robbins and Athletic Director Ken Campbell agreed to make the team coed. Wetter then began recruiting her senior friends. Six or seven guys showed interest, but only three committed to the team after a stunt class. A late addition of two more potential cheerleaders came forward to try out and completed the team.
The full squad, consisting of 10 girls, three boys, and an alternate hit the mat at the national competition Jan. 3-4. After the first day’s competition, the team won best stunts and pyramids, best jumps and tumbling, and best showmanship and choreography in the intermediate school division. On the second day’s competition, the team clinched the title of FCC National Grand Champion in the varsity school division with its 2:26 minute routine, beating out the six-years-straight reigning champions.
At nationals, Wetter was named one of the FCC scholar cheerleaders and Lilli Pascoe won the National Jump Jam title in the high school division.