Three cheers: Panthers fly to another Western Class B titleMedomak Valley has sights on capturing school's first state crown Feb. 9
Augusta — Two down, one to go.
The Medomak Valley High School cheering squad won its third straight Western Class B championship on Saturday, Jan. 26 at the Augusta Civic Center as the Panthers now set their sights on bringing home the school's first state cheering title on Saturday, Feb. 9.
Medomak Valley captured the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B crown on Jan. 19, also at the Augusta Civic Center, and followed that with another strong performance in Saturday's regional event.
The state competition will be at the Bangor Auditorium. The top six teams from each region move onto that event.
Competing in this year's state Class B championship competition from Western Class B will be Medomak Valley, Wells, Gardiner, Leavitt of Turner, Poland and Morse of Bath, while competing from Eastern Class B will be Ellsworth, Hermon, Caribou, Presque Isle, John Bapst of Bangor and Old Town.
Hermon won the state Class B title last season and has won four of the last six state crowns.
On Saturday, the team scores from the Western Class B regional were: Medomak Valley 131.4, Wells 129.9, Gardiner 124.8, Leavitt 121.8, Poland 118.6, Morse 115.6, Mountain Valley of Rumford 113, Spruce Mountain of Jay/Livermore Falls 106.1, Freeport 105.4, Gray-New Gloucester 101.9, Lake Region of Bridgton 98.2, Lincoln Academy of Newcastle 92.4, York 88.4, Catherine McAuley of Portland 80.1, Fryeburg Academy 75.7, Oak Hill of Sabattus 72.9 and Greely of Cumberland 71.2.
The team scores from the Eastern Class B regional, held in Bangor, were: Ellsworth 142.2, Hermon 138.8, Caribou 134.3, Presque Isle 134.3, John Bapst of Bangor 127.8, Old Town 124.7, Waterville 115.5, Mount Desert Island 114.6, Mount View of Thorndike 108.4, Washington Academy of East Machais 100.7, Nokomis of Newport 96.6 and Oceanside of Rockland/Thomaston 84.5.
Team members for Medomak Valley include Kelsie Grady, Jessica Prescott, Charlene Wilbur, Lyndsey Miller, Shania Melvin, Alyssa Ducharme, Olivia Ryan, Molly Clevette, Ashlee Wilson, Paige Russell, Cassidy Dever, Stephanie Hill, Amanda Poland, Katie Goldrup, Megan Linscott and Gabby Ruano. The squad is coached by Rachel Coor and Heather Simmons.
Coor said she pleased with her team's performance Saturday en route to the regional crown.
"Winning is always a lot of fun," she said. "It’s a huge honor. I'm super proud of the girls and all the work they have done to get to this point. I couldn’t be prouder of this championship."
Medomak Valley did not perform a perfect routine, however, being deducted five points for a few bobbles throughout the performance while still managing to eek out the win.
"I think it all boils down to the level of difficulty in the routine," said Coor. "Even though we had some small issues with tumbling, we have a lot of tumblers and that worked in our favor. They finished strong even after the pyramid didn’t go right [and] they did their end dance really well.
"Even if things don't go perfectly you still have to finish the performance strong and that's what they did."
Now the Panthers have their sights set on the state championship competition in two weeks, an event that will feature their toughest competition left — notably Hermon and Ellsworth, two Eastern Class B powerhouse programs that have collectively won numerous regional titles the past decade.
Despite that, coach Coor said her team is going to focus on what they can control, and not the routines of the opponents.
"We're trying to not focus on anybody else," she said. "We're trying to just focus on our own performance. It's not so much about beating [Hermon or Ellsworth] at this point. There's no offense or defense we can play against them. Our goal is to be perfect.
"We just want to do the best we can with what we've got. I've got to believe that everyone in our program knows if we do that we're going to have a great end result at states."
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