So close again, Medomak Valley settles for second at state competitionPanthers try to bring home elusive championship in coach Coor's final season
Augusta — The young high school student-athletes wanted desperately to say good-bye to their loved and respected coach by sending her on her way with the best of all presents — namely, a state Class B championship.
Alas, that outcome was not in the cards as the Medomak Valley cheering squad again came within a whisker of capturing the state's top prize, only to fall short in coach Rachel Coor's sixth and final season with the team.
Coor has guided the Panthers to unparalleled school success, including regional and league crowns, during her tenure, after leading the former Rockland District High School and teams in Colorado to state crowns.
Alas, that never happened at MVHS, the school Coor once attended.
On Saturday afternoon, in the state Class B championship competition at the Augusta Civic Center, Hermon again proved a little better than Medomak Valley, which finished second, as the Hawks flew off with their fourth straight state crown and record sixth state Class B title overall.
The Panthers finished second last year and third the season before in the state competition. Medomak Valley also is the four-time defending Western Class B champion and has won the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B title in recent years.
On Saturday, Medomak Valley turned in a strong routine, but did have one bobble during a stunt. Hermon, as always, was basically flawless.
"My kids have worked ridiculously hard over the past two weeks," Coor said. "They raised their score by almost 15 points from regionals. I'm happy.
"It's not about the [state] title for me, it's about the kids doing the best that they can do. As long as that happens I can hold my head high and I expect the kids can hold their heads high too."
The state team results, with the judges' scores listed, were: Hermon, 30, 29, 29.2, 29.4 and 30.6 for 148.2 total; Medomak Valley, 28.6, 29.4, 29.3, 28.2 and 28.3 for 143.8, with a one-point deduction, for 142.8; Ellsworth, 26.4, 27.8, 25.7, 26 and 27 for 132.9; Leavitt of Turner, 28.8, 23.1, 24.1, 28 and 28.3 for 132.3; Old Town, 27.9, 25.2, 25.6, 26.7 and 26 for 131.4, with a one-point deduction, for 130.4; Wells, 25.6, 21.3, 22.1, 26.6 and 26.2 for 121.8; Presque Isle, 24.9, 21.6, 21.4, 24.3 and 25.3 for 117.5; John Bapst of Bangor, 24.8, 22.3, 20.9, 24.6 and 24.2 for 116.8; Lake Region of Bridgton, 24.9, 21, 20.7, 23.5 and 25.7 for 115.8; Caribou, 23.6, 21.6, 20.6, 24.3 and 24.7 for 114.8; Morse of Bath, 23.4, 19.5, 20.3, 23.5 and 24.3 for 111, with a five-point deduction, for 106; and Freeport, 22.1, 17.3, 16.5, 22.2 and 21.8 for 99.9.
"There are sad faces and, at some point, the kids will look back and understand it too that this is a lot to be proud of," Coor said. "It just stinks in the heat of the moment. They've worked really, really hard, as I'm sure everyone else has here too. They came with a goal in mind and, unfortunately today, it didn't happen. But there's no seniors on this team. Every single one of these kids can come back next year and try again and they are one of the best teams in the state."
Medomak Valley team members include Alyssa Ducharme, Shania Melvin, Paige Russell, Olivia Ryan, Ashlee Wilson, Stephanie Hill, Cassie Dever, Amanda Poland, Hannah Wile, Whitney Dow, Hannah Smith and Courtney Ducharme. The head coach is Coor and the assistant coach is Heather Simmons.
In 2013-14, the Panthers finished second at the states and KVACs, and won the regional crown. In 2012-13, Medomak Valley finished second at the KVACs, won the regional title and finished third at the states. In 2011-12, the Panthers won the KVAC and regional championships, and finished third at the states. In 2010-11, Medomak Valley was third at KVACs, second at the regional and 10th at states. In 2009-10, the Panthers were second at the KVACs (also won the league's most improved award) and eighth in the regional (Eastern Class B that year) and missed qualifying for the states by a mere 3.3 points.