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Lake Oconee Academy competition cheer teams prepare for upcoming season

July 02, 2019 - 15:52
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    The Lake Oconee Academy high school competition cheer team traveled to Atlanta last month to work with renowned cheer choreographer Brett Lane. (Top Row, L-R): Ella Cooper, Ally Blythe, Lindsay Herring, Katie Ciavola, Paris Jaronski, Lucy Kate Williams, Lauren Johnson, Lili Sheehan, Scotlan Ashurst, Hailey Heinen, Shaniyah Hall. (Bottom Row, L-R): Sydnie McDonald, Samantha O'Neal, Grace Stephens, Sophia Bradley, Brett Lane, Kyliah Lockhart, Belle Benton, Adalyn Greer and Mo Goughnour. PHOTO: Contributed


The Lake Oconee Academy (LOA) high school and middle school competition cheer teams traveled to Marietta in June to prepare for the upcoming 2019 season. The teams each spent three days training at the Stingray Cheer Company – home of the 2019 World Champion Stingray Steel.  

The teams had the privilege of working with two renowned cheer choreographers. The high school team worked with Brett Lane, and the middle school team worked with Malonte Javon. Both men travel the country working with all-star and school competition teams. They assisted the LOA teams in developing and creating solid routines for the new season. 

“It was a tremendous opportunity to train in a top-notch facility with world-class choreographers,” said Jennifer Blythe, the LOA head cheer coach for both high school and middle school. “It was hard work. But it was time well spent and will definitely be paramount to each team’s success this year.”  

Blythe has been building the cheerleading program at LOA for the past four years. In that short time, the program has earned an enviable reputation. The middle school team has held the title of Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) champion for the last three years. In 2018, the high school team finished fourth at the state championships. 

“Last year was the first time we competed at the state level,” Blythe said. “Out of 16 teams, we finished behind the three teams that have consistently placed in the top three at states for the last 16 years. That’s a tremendous accomplishment for such a young program.” 

Blythe added: “Both teams are working really hard this summer to lay a strong foundation for the upcoming season. We have a great track record, and we’re looking to do even better this year.”