Celebrating: The Parkers Chapel cheerleaders celebrate after winning the 1A-2A Game Day Division state title in Hot Springs over the weekend. The state crown was Parkers Chapel’s third in a row. (contributed)
Parkers Chapel won its third straight state cheerleading championship Saturday and when all the points were tallied, it really wasn’t that close. Coach Torri Jacobs’ team produced a no-deduction performance in the final round, scoring a 91.67 to win the 1A-2A Game Day Division by more than a point.
Lavaca (89.40) was second, followed by Gurdon (89.23), Taylor (87.50) and Quitman (84.83).
“The possibility of achieving this three years in a row is great. This is the first time in program history that this has happened,” Jacobs said Sunday. “Our group is young. More than half have never competed in a state championship, and we have a few that are in their first year cheering. We are very excited and proud of this group
“Thinking about comparing the three is super emotional for me. This group of seniors was the first group to do so as sophomores and they have been going full force and non-stop ever since.
“Their goal after the second season was to win all three years and they succeeded. I had no doubt. There is one common factor for all three championships – hard work. They never give up on it.
“Every year I raised the bar, and they exceeded it. Once you win it, you have teams focused on beating you, like in all sports. When we won it the second year, we saw it again and then we went after it this year – it was definitely bigger than ever. In addition, each year becomes more difficult and the level of commitment must grow even higher. These girls were committed and didn’t give up all season.”
Captain Abi Forbes had similar thoughts to her coach.
“This team is truly the most rewarding thing to be a part of. It’s an honor to bring this trophy home with us for the third time,” said Forbes. “I’m more proud of every single girl on our team and I couldn’t ask for a better group of girls. We push ourselves to the absolute limits and we all have to be 100 percent committed to achieving the national championship, let alone any competition.
“The most important key to winning that we learned from our amazing coach, Mrs. Torri Jacobs, is that talent does not determine who wins. It’s an effort. Whoever was willing to put in the most time, pay attention to the small details and give it their all will be the winner regardless of what those results would be on the mats. Our effort and commitment brought us this third national championship and I can proudly say that we all held the rope.”
In the finals, Parkers Chapel scored best in Fight Song (43.87) and Crowd Leading (47.80).
“This year we competed with a completely new routine. We changed everything. I was big, but focused on what the girls do really well and went for it,” said Jacobs, who talked about the emotions of the third title.
“This year was more emotional than the previous ones. We fought every week. We battled illness, injuries and competed with a different routine every week. Also, it’s just amazing to know what the program did the previous two years and do it for the third. This group of seniors, they know the feeling of winning two state championships and watching them win their third was the icing on the cake.
“We knew what it would take to earn this for the third time. Our freshman has improved. as well as our sophomores and our one junior. They knew that everyone had to be involved at all times and that they had to leave everything on the mat. They didn’t have to leave any doubt.”
The Parkers Chapel roster includes: Lexi Killingsworth, Abi Forbes- Captain, Beaux Riley Cardin, Co-Captain, Kailtyn Brazle, Co-Captain, Kinley Moore, Hope Boykin, Katherine Smith, Delaney Mason, Gracie Robertson, Hannah Pridgen, Alexis Green, Kenlee Honeycutt, Maycie Kate Taylor, Emma Dees, Madison Gill, Tinsley Barbaree and Karley Koon.
“Everything I ask of this group, they do. They constantly brought home flags, megs, signs to training. They came to school at 6 a.m. every weekday and practiced before the school day started. They are dedicated.
“The amount of time they spent watching practice films was also unmatched from years past. They wanted this badly and knew they would have to work harder than ever and do all things bigger and better than anyone else in 2A.
“They focused on the little things and made it better and better every week. They went undefeated on the season and won 1-6A Best Cheer at ACCA Jonesboro. Again, these kids are simply stunning. They are Chapel Cheer.”