Chapin makes history with 14th state title in competitive cheer
The S.C. High School League has existed since 1913 and its modern era can be traced to 1969.
What happened Saturday night at Colonial Life Arena had never occurred at any point in its history by any athletic program.
The Chapin High School competitive cheer team claimed the Class 5A championship. It was the Lady Eagles’ state record 14th state title and 10th in the last 11 years.
“We practice every day of the week, Saturdays and Sundays since Aug. 1,” said Chapin head coach Vicki Williams, who has led the team to 13 championships. “And honestly, I thought being the new kid on the block (Chapin moved up from Class 4A last year), maybe we’d get our feet wet. But it goes to those kids. They were amazing.”
In beating out Region 5-5A rivals River Bluff, Lexington and Dutch Fork who finished second through fourth place, respectively, Chapin also accomplished an unprecedented feat. This was the fourth classification it had won a state title since competitive cheer became a sport in 1996.
The historic feat was not lost upon the head coach and her captains who used it as motivation in moving up from Class 4A.
“It’s amazing,” a tearful Williams said. “Like I said, the Lord has been there. I’ve gone through cancer twice. The Lord’s been with us the whole time and I’m so proud of those kids and their parents.”
“We were so ready,” co-captain Mary Grace Galloway said. “Because every year, people say how would Chapin do against the big dogs and the big people because we were in the lower divisions. We’re so excited we could show it.”
In the other classifications, Lexington County teams finished in the top 10. Gray Collegiate placed fifth in Class 3A ahead of Gilbert (10th), while Brookland-Cayce was seventh overall in Class 4A with Airport finishing in 10th place.