Lambert, South Forsyth highlight storied field at GHSA Cheerleading State Championships in Macon

The maximum score that a cheerleading team can attain is 108.0 points for a routine that lasts two minutes and 30 seconds. It’s over in a flash and a perfect score is a rarity in the world of competition cheerleading.

Lambert and South Forsyth have controlled the state’s highest classification at the GHSA state cheerleading championships for the past decade and the two programs had historic finishes to their Region 6-7A meet where each attained perfection.

“In all my years, I have never even heard of that,” said Penny Mitchell, the GHSA Cheerleading coordinator said of the happening. “To get a perfect score is crazy. And then for two teams to get it, it’s amazing. That means you hit every degree of difficulty at the highest you can and then you execute it in flawless fashion.”


In the 31st season as a GHSA sport, 128 teams will converge on the Macon Centreplex to try for one of eight state championships at the GHSA Cheerleading State Championships Friday and Saturday where storied programs will try to capture another title and emerging talent will try to capture first-ever titles for their respective teams.

Competing programs will be scored by a team of seven judges. The safety judge makes sure everything is legal. The table safety judge focuses on legality and jumps, dance and cheer. There’s the head judge who focuses on jump, dance and cheer evaluation. There are two judges on Panel B, which covers tumbling, running and standing tumbling and two judges on Panel C, which focuses on tumbling and the pyramid.

A new addition to the GHSA officials staff is Columbus-native Simone Smith in her first year as liaison over officials. Smith has coached competition cheerleading for 25 years and heads the Metro Atlanta Judging Association, where’s she’s been for eight years.

The defending champions entering the championships are Lambert (7A), Houston County (6A), McIntosh (5A), Whitewater (4A), Savannah Christian (3A), Mount Paran (2A), Armuchee (1A) and Mill Creek (CO-ED).

Defending Class 7A champion Lambert will try for the program’s eighth championship while South Forsyth will try for the 10th championship in program history. Lambert won its seven championships in 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and last season. South Forsyth won its titles in 1996-1999, 2001-2001, 2017 and 2020-2021.


Several other teams have been stalwarts at the state competition. McIntosh enters the Class 5A competition having won four consecutive championships and eight overall titles. But its region-rival and 10-time champion Northgate is a worthy adversary.

“They are in the same region,” said Mitchell. “Northgate just won the region title, narrowly beating McIntosh. But that happened last year and then McIntosh won the state. But Northgate was co-ed and just went back to all-girls and they’ve done really well in the past years.”

Northgate won the co-ed championship in 2021 and all-girls titles in 2007-2011 and 2015-2018.

In Class 2A, Mount Paran has 11 consecutive championships beginning in 2012. It won in Class A Private until the reclassification cycle moved the team to Class 2A where it defended last season.

“Mount Paran has always been very, very good,” Mitchell said. “No matter what division they are in. Also, Savannah Christian is very strong and won last year (3A). They did not come out on top in sectionals, but they came in second. Mary Persons beat them out in that and got second in state last year.”

The atmosphere greeting spectators at the Macon Centreplex will be electric with diehard, knowledgeable fans ready to support their respective programs.

“There’s just some super-passionate fans,” Mitchell said. “A few years ago when we had this in Columbus, people would stand in line and camp out all week to get tickets. There was a rush to get in to get a good seat and with the Centreplex, we have a priority viewing stand where we rotate out and the fans can be sure to get a good seat to see their team compete.”

The event can be streamed live on the NFHS Network and you can view the team-by-team schedule by following the link.

Friday Schedule

Session One (A & 5A): Doors open at 9:00 a.m.; Starts at 10:00 a.m.

Session Two (2A & 4A): Doors open at 2:00 p.m.; Starts at 3:00 p.m.

Saturday Schedule

Session One (3A & Coed): Doors open at 9:00 a.m.; Starts at 10:00 a.m.

Session Two (6A & 7A): Doors open at 2:00 p.m.; Starts at 3:00 p.m.

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