State champs – HCHS cheerleaders win at Sweet 16


Members of the Harlan County High School cheerleading squad posed with their state championship trophy Friday at Northern Kentucky University. Team members include, front left, front row: Keke Gist, Madison Tolliver, Mahalah Bundy, Rhileigh Alred, Baili Boggs and Ally Alred; middle row: Katiera Lewis, Amber Goodin, Bailey Brock, Peyton Griffin, Mahalah Bundy and Brittany Dummitt; back row: coach Anissa Alred, seniors Shawnee Cress, Karyssa Lamb, Kerstin Perkins, Grayson Raleigh and Emily Eldridge and coaches Whitney Alred and Holly Alred.

From district to region to state, the Harlan County High School cheerleaders grew accustomed to winning championships over the past three weeks.

Harlan County capped the best season in the 10-year history of the program by winning the in-game state championship on Friday in the girls state tournament at Northern Kentucky University.

After winning the overall district competition at Middlesboro and the girls regional competition at Corbin, the HCHS cheerleaders made it to state competition when the girls basketball team won the 13th Region Tournament championship. The Harlan County squad competed against 15 other teams in the state competition and was judged on its performance during the Lady Bears’ game against George Rogers Clark.

“The girls did a great job at Northern. I couldn’t be prouder of them,” said Anissa Alred, who has been the coach of the program since the school opened in 2008. “From the day that HCHS was formed, girls from all over the county have come together to support our Black Bears. They have taken a lot of pride and had great work ethic when it comes to promoting school spirit. They have worked hard every year and have really been an asset to the Black Bear family.”