For the first time in Cornerstone history, the Cougar coed competition cheerleading squad won the title of National Grand Champions in the Intermediate Division at the Fellowship of Christian Cheerleaders (FCC) competition on January 5 in Orlando, Florida.
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.
“Winning Grand Champs at FCC Nationals in Orlando was a testimony of God's faithfulness,” said Head Coach Holly Guice.
Other teams competing at FCC included Lake Country, Christian Heritage, North Raleigh, and Prestonwood, a school of 1,600 and reigning National Champs for the past eight years.
Making their win even more impressive is the fact that at the beginning of the season, the 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,” said Coach Guice. “This year after tryouts, we had nine who made the team. We were still in need of at least three to four more to make the team complete.”
Assistant Coach Angela Eeles, along with the other parents, began praying about continuing the program. They offered two more opportunities for tryouts, but doors continued to be closed. At the end of the summer of 2019, they had decided to not move forward with the team unless they could make it a full team.
Eeles never lost hope and was determined to see what the Lord would do with this team. Soon after, Senior Laney Wetter approached the coaches about the possibility of making the team a coed team. The coaches were open to the idea but knew it would have to be approved by administration first, then guys would have to be interested enough to try it out. The coaches were convinced neither would come through.
“Was I ever wrong!” Guice exclaimed.
Cornerstone Head of School Marsha Robbins and Athletic Director Ken Campbell were onboard with opening the team up to guys and making it a coed team. Laney then began recruiting her senior friends. Six or seven showed interest, but three brave young men committed to the team after a stunt class. Coach Guice remembers overhearing one of the guys say, “It was more fun than baseball!”
The full squad, consisting of 10 girls and three boys, hit the mat at the national competition on Jan 5 and were determined to win. They clinched the national title with their impressive routine, triumphing over the team with an eight-year winning streak.
Additional awards were presented to Senior Laney Wetter, who was named FCC Scholar Cheerleader, and Lilli Pascoe, who won the National Jump Jam in the high school division.
The team continues to give God all the glory for bringing it to pass.
“We stepped out in faith, not knowing what the season would hold, and were totally blown away by the outcome,” Guice said.
Head Coach: Holly Guice
Assistant Coaches: Angela Eeles and Laura Grace Guice
Squad members: Laney Wetter, Wade Cooney, Luke Adams, James Greene, Lilli Pascoe, Isabel Guice, Courtney Carmichael, Kaelyn Eeles, Courtney King, Anna Falkins, Ally Kakaty, Jocelyn Cowart, Charis Williams, Hannah Dickerson
Choreographer: Hannah Clayton