State champions, the Hickory Hawks Competition Cheerleading Team finished their long and winding road to a state championship
“It is almost surreal. It still hasn`t hit me that we won states. Instant tears as soon as we heard our name, it felt like all our hard work had finally paid off,” says Brooke Thomas, senior captain.
“I cried really hard. We are the first team that cheers that has ever coached to the second round and then to win it was just made even better,” says Emily Roebuck senior captain.
The road to Richmond started in January 11 months ago where these 23 ladies dedicated themselves to one goal: their first championship in school history.
“Hours and hours and hours of practice, sweat constantly, injuries, bruises, but the hours are definitely worth it. It paid off in the end,” says Brooke.
“It`s a lot of work, we practice almost every day, there was never really any down time in practice either. We don`t really get breaks,” says Emily.
“They are just an amazing group. They work from day one without question, they knew what their goals were. They put their minds on it and didn`t give up once, even when it got tough,” says Coach Chris Boykin.
During the state championship, it did get tough for these ladies. They found themselves in second place going into their final routine of the year
“We walked on with our heads held high with motivation in our hearts to fix what we had done wrong in the first place,” says Brooke.
Fix it they did with a final score of 275, the Hawks beat their nearest competition by more than 21 points.
“From this kind of a team sport, you need everybody on the ball. You need a lot of repetition so hence all the hours that we worked so all the hours are worth it. There wasn't one time where the girls were lazy or slacked off. It was from day one hard work. They knew what they wanted so they went out and got it,” says Boykin.
For now, these 23 ladies will enjoy their championship. They will be back in the gym in January to defend their state title.