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TOP DAWGS: ‘Focused’ Bulldog cheerleaders aim high



Dalton cheerleaders have thrown out 18 T-shirts to crowds at every home football game, which are made possible thanks to generous donations from Slabaugh Auto Care and Kidron Town & Country. Shirts are made at The Dalton Gazette & Kidron News office, also home to Gazette Ink, apparel, banner and signage company.

Cheerleaders cross the field for the hello cheer led by co-captains Tomlinson and Carpenter.

Hudson Saxer held up by her varsity cheerleading squad.

Top row from left, 


Dalton’s cheerleading squad at a recent practice in the gym at Dalton High School. The group is looking forward to competing this year.

DALTON  Friday nights in the fall in small towns are something special.

Like a cool autumn breeze that swirls through a high school football game at dusk and touches each participant, an unmistakable excitement seems to wash over everyone in the stands, on the sidelines, and on the field.

Many components come together to bring the magic to Friday night high school football games: players, coaches, announcers, marching bands, mascots, crowds, concession stands, student sections, and, of course, cheerleaders.

Something certainly would be missing without the young student-athletes entertaining and leading the student section and audience in cheers and chants. Cheerleaders have to stay aware of the game and the crowd to know which cheers to do and when, and they have to keep up their positive energy and smiles throughout the game. They also provide support at school and behind the scenes. Once football season is over, the cheerleaders lend their talents to hyping up the crowds at basketball games.

On top of all of that, there are competitions, and that’s when Dalton High School’s cheerleaders really hope they can shine. They are focused on rising to the top – all the way to state.

If he could summarize this year’s Dalton Bulldogs cheerleading team in one word, head cheerleading coach Don Stoll says that word would be “focused.” They’re also kind, talented and dedicated student-athletes who are ready for a challenge. Dalton’s varsity cheerleaders have been getting a lot of attention this football season. Stoll said the team has been receiving compliments as the teens have been showing some extra feats of athleticism to accompany their typical routines.

“Yes, we are stunting,” Stoll said during a recent cheer practice in a gym at Dalton High School.

Athleticism isn’t always recognized in cheer. Balance, strength, coordination, teamwork and determination have helped this year’s cheerleading team do stunts that haven’t been done before.

“Competing in stunt is a whole different ball game,” Stoll said. “They have progressed a lot quicker than I have ever imagined.”

Read the complete story in the Oct. 26, 2022 edition.

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