Oceanside looks to take competition skills to next level
Rockland — The following is a synopsis of the 2012-13 Oceanside High School cheering squad:
Coach/years coached current team: Hope Billingsley, second year.
Last year's record/playoff information: The Mariners finished ninth (90.8 points) at the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B championships and 12th (95.5) at the Eastern Class B championships.
Roster: Seniors Kendra Flanagan, Elizabeth Fletcher, Caroline Luttrell, Chelsea Keyes and Shale Peters; junior Samantha Calamari; sophomores Hannah Loring, Emma Rose Newmeyer, Hailey Hobbs and Jana Talbot; and freshmen Brittany Mahonen and Rachel Philbrook.
Outlook: Finishing near the bottom of the pack at both the conference and regional levels last year, the Mariners are looking up as they hope to improve on last year's scores.
Coach Billingsley said practices have been productive and the student-athletes are working hard in preparation for the competition season.
"I hope we score much higher than we did last year, and I think we will," she said. "I think our routine is much better and fluent than it was last year. We've got more experience this year, almost half of our girls are seniors. So we want to just keep moving up those rungs until we finally get to the top."
The Mariners have a strong base, which makes their fliers that much better "because they can depend on [those at the base] to catch them and do what they need to do," said the coach.
The team also has worked hard to improve its jumping, which Billingsley said should show at the KVACs and regionals.
As far as competition for her team? Billingsley said she only plans to worry about the things she can control, namely her own team's performers.
"I'm not out there looking at other people [or other teams]," she said. "I'm just worried about us and what we can do and making sure we're prepared and ready for when Jan. 21 [and the league championships] rolls around."
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