The Spalding High Lady Jaguars competition cheerleaders have participated in three meets so far, finishing second, fourth and fifth. First-year head coach Barbara Toborg said that’s not bad for a team graduated eight seniors from a state sectionals qualifier squad in 2009.
“We’ve got six freshmen competing on the team this year,” said Toborg, a 2003 Spalding High graduate. “The good thing about this team is the older cheerleaders treat the younger ones great. They get along well with each other and they have great comraderie.”
The good relationships between the girls have led them to pretty good finishes, despite some injuries they’ve had so far. Injuries hurt the 2009 Spalding squad as well.
“We’ve had a rash of injuries so far. One girl got hurt the second weekend of practice,” said Toborg, who was the JV cheerleading coach last year. “But I’m really proud of them — they haven’t let the injuries hold them back.”
Toborg said she does put a bit of pressure on the team by telling them of her history — she was a member of Spalding’s first region title competition cheerleading team in 2002. SHS won another region title in 2004.
“I tease them a lot about putting another number in the cheerleading region title banner that’s up. Would I like to get a region title this year? Sure,” she said. “But with a young team like we have, I really want them to just enjoy the experience. They work hard and they get worn out.”
Spalding’s competition cheerleaders also cheer at the football games, unlike when Toborg was a Spalding cheerleader. That means no late nights after the football games for the girls.
“It’s rough sometimes because we don’t get to hang out much after games, since we have to get up early on Saturdays for the competition meets,” said Lady Jags captain Hannah Hammock. “But sometimes you have to sacrifice.”
“We have a good time competing,” said SHS captain Rahbi Releford. “Everyone’s coming together at this time.”
Spalding’s first meet was at Veterans High on Sept. 18, where the Lady Jags finished second out of three teams. Their second meet was last Saturday at Woodstock High and they placed fifth out of nine teams.
“The girls did well conditioning over the summer. They put in a lot of work,” said Toborg. “They’re getting better each week.”
Spalding’s next meet is Saturday at Central Carrollton, followed by a meet at Mary Persons on Oct. 30. The Region cheerleading meet, which will encompass teams from all classifications, will be on Nov. 6 at Starr’s Mill.
Last year, the Lady Jags competition team qualified for the Class AAA state sectionals, finishing 11th out of 23 Class AAA teams.