USC Aiken holds cheerful Saturday

February 17, 2019

The USC Aiken Convocation Center was the focal point for cheerleaders around South Carolina on Saturday, with dozens of high schools represented at a state competition, including South Aiken, Strom Thurmond and Barnwell.

It was an exceptionally good day for Barnwell, as the Warhorses bagged first overall in their category (A and AA schools). Following, in order, were Seneca, Clinton, St. Joseph’s Catholic, Academic Magnet and Oceanside Collegiate Academy.

Among the three larger classifications, Lexington County had the champs, as River Bluff won the overall title, followed by Cane Bay, South Aiken, Riverside, Lakewood and Colleton County, in that order.

The event, “the very first Game Day Invitational,” was billed as featuring the types of cheerleading routines that are presented on the sidelines of football fields around South Carolina from August into December, including the schools’ various fight songs, a crowd-leading chant and a band dance. Events are already held around the state to feature what is often called “competitive cheer,” which puts more emphasis on tumbling, stunts and gymnastics-style moves.

“We are hoping, with ‘Game Day,’ to grow this event, to where it will be one of the sanctioned events for the high school league, and that we can … hold a state championship in this event as we do with our other sanctioned sports,” said Amy Boozer, an assistant commissioner for the South Carolina High School League.

She pointed out that the event drew 14 A and AA schools and 10 from the levels of AAA and larger.