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Competition cheer: South Forsyth repeats as Class 7A state champion
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South Forsyth finished its season by scoring a 105 at the state meet to win the Class 7A championship, which was 3.5 points better than second-place Mill Creek. Photo submitted

Since the formation of Class 7A in 2016, the state champion in competition cheer has always come from Forsyth County.

This year was no different, as South Forsyth won the Class 7A state title for the second consecutive year and for the ninth time in school history.

Head coach Shayla Brawner believes that the culture that this team has built over the years allows them to be successful. It’s a full team effort day in and day out.

“The South Forsyth competition cheerleading program has a champion-minded culture,” Brawner said. “The athletes and coaches come in every day ready to work hard, and that hard work and dedication paid off. However, this would not be possible without the support of parents, administrators, athletic trainers, etc. As a coach, it means everything to lead a program where everyone is bought in.”

South finished its season by scoring a 105 in the championship, which was 3.5 points better than second-place Mill Creek.

After coming in second place to rival Lambert at region, South was able to flip the script in the state championship. Lambert finished in 10th at state and West finished in eighth. East Forsyth finished 10th in Class 3A in the Broncos' inaugural season.

Over the course of the season, South never finished worse than second place at any meet, including first place finishes at the North Forsyth Classic, the Raider Classic, the McIntosh Invitational, and the state meet.

“This season honestly felt like a dream because the team had great chemistry and we were able to follow our process as planned with few interruptions,” Brawner said. “It was especially nice to be back to 'normal' after last year.”

The team graduates seven seniors from the team. However, after last year's state title, they lost eight seniors and still came back and won it again. Expect another strong season for South next year, thanks to the culture they’ve built.

“This team of coachable, motivated, and resilient athletes means so much to me,” Brawner said. “They love one another and will always be remembered as the team that chose to trust and believe in a common goal. This senior class was disciplined and determined to defend our state title. They led by example and constantly encouraged others. I love this team, and my assistant coach Lyndsey Phelps, so much.”