To our readers,

The COVID-19 pandemic is a once-in-a-century type story, ... Click here to continue

Includes video, photos to come

Dynasty domination: Panther cheering again tops in KVAC Class B

Medomak Valley captures sixth league championship in eight years
By Mark Haskell | Jan 15, 2018
Photo by: Mark Haskell Medomak Valley High School cheering squad, champions of Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B for the sixth time in eight seasons, on Jan. 15 at the Augusta Civic Center.

Augusta — One would be hard-pressed to question the mental toughness of the Medomak Valley cheering squad — especially after its last few days on the mats — including the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B championship competition on Monday, Jan. 15 at the Augusta Civic Center.

The Panthers overcame a challenging warmup session on Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and executed a flawless routine in front of hundreds of fans — and ultimately reaped the benefits — as the Waldoboro-based squad again jumped for joy by session’s end as they were crowned the league champions.

Click for photos from this event.

Watch video below of the team's routine at a recent basketball game.

“We had a little bit of a rough warmup, but we pulled through,” said Medomak Valley coach Heather Simmons. “This group loves to impress a crowd and they’ve been working really hard to increase the difficulty in their routine.”

“Sometimes you just feel like it’s a 50/50 shot and you just hope it's your day, and it was today and I’m really proud of them.”

The Panthers, who scored 74.9 points, ultimately had little competition on the day as runner-up Leavitt of Turner finished 14.8 points behind them at 60.1.

The conference title was the sixth in eight years for Medomak Valley, which also collected league crowns in 2017, 2016, 2015, 2013 and 2011.

The Panthers, guided by head coach Simmons and assistant coach Rachel Coor, include seniors Ashley Kenniston, Samantha Pelkey, Anna Wadsworth and Megan Wright; juniors Mariah Grindle, Cassandra Smeltzer and Leah Wilcox; and sophomores Cheyanne Greene, Grace Kurr, Katie Ryan, Michaela Staples and Ashley Winchenbach.

The scores from the league's Class B competition, with scores from the four judges and final tally indicated, included: Medomak Valley, 19, 15.9, 19.3 and 20.7 for 74.9; Leavitt of Turner, 15, 11.5, 16.2 and 17.4 for 60.1; Gardiner, 9.8, 11.8, 17.4 and 11.5 for 50.5; Morse of Bath, 8, 12.7, 17.5 and 8.7 for 46.9; Erskine Academy of South China, 8, 9.3, 14 and 13.2 for 44.5; Mount View of Thorndike, 9. 9.2 13 and 9.9 for 41.1; Nokomis of Newport, 8.5, 10.1, 10.1 and 12.1 for 40.8; Winslow, 11.3, 7.5, 12.4 and 9.3 for 40.5; Lincoln Academy of Newcastle, 7.8, 6.9, 9.1 and 8.8 for 32.6; and Waterville, 5, 7.4, 8.6 and 9.3 for 30.3 (5-point deduction) for 25.3.

The scores from the league Class A competition included: Lewiston, 20.6, 21.2, 21.2 and 21 for 84; Bangor, 18.3, 21.4, 21.8 and 20.9 for 82.4; Oxford Hills of South Paris, 13.7, 18.9, 18.5 and 18.8 for 69.9; Lawrence of Fairfield, 13.19.2, 18.7 and 16.8 for 67.7; Brewer, 16.4, 17.2, 17.1 and 17.7 for 68.4; Mount Blue of Farmington, 11.7, 16.1, 17.1 and 16.7 for 61.6; Mount Ararat of Topsham, 7.3, 16.4, 14.1 and 12.8 for 50.6; Edward Little of Auburn, 10.6, 12.7, 12.6 and 12.3 for 48.2; Hampden Academy, 10.3, 12.7, 9.2 and 18.5 for 50.7 (5-point deduction) for 45.7; Cony of Augusta, 11, 10.4, 11.4 and 12.9 for 45.7; Skowhegan, 8.3, 12.2, 12 and 9.3 for 41.8; and Messalonskee of Oakland, 4.6, 9, 8.4 and 7.9 for 29.9 (15-point deduction) for 14.9.

Simmons said while the Panthers' routine Monday was nothing short of terrific, “no one ever comes out here and is 100 percent perfect.”

“You can always find flaws in something when trained eyes are looking at it,” she said. “We’ll go back to the drawing board, start trying to increase the difficulty some more on Tuesday and hope for the best at regionals.”

Monday’s league championships were not Medomak Valley’s most significant hurdle of adversity cleared in recent days.

At the school’s “Paws for the Cause” event on Thursday, Jan. 11, which featured a doubleheader of varsity basketball games, the Panther cheerleaders were to perform their competition routine at the school during the first game, but there was an issue that left the team without musical accompaniment.

Simmons calmly knelt front and center in front of the mat and shouted out all the eight-counts, and the Panthers completed their routine in front of a packed house with no issues.

“It’s about instilling muscle memory in your kids,” she said. “There’s cues in the music that helps them say, ‘OK in case my brain doesn’t happen to work on this eight-count, this is where I clap.’ And when you’re counting you just have faith that your body still knows what to do.”

Medomak Valley will participate in the Class B South regional competition on Saturday, Jan. 27 at the Augusta Civic Center. The top six finishers at the regional will advance to the state Class B championships on Saturday, Feb. 10 at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

Medomak Valley cheerleaders
Medomak Valley cheerleaders perform on Jan. 11 during the Lincoln Academy at Medomak Valley basketball games in Waldoboro. (Video by: Zack Miller)
Scene from Medomak Valley's participation in the league cheering competition Jan. 15 in Augusta. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Scene from Medomak Valley's participation in the league cheering competition Jan. 15 in Augusta. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Scene from Medomak Valley's participation in the league cheering competition Jan. 15 in Augusta. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Scene from Medomak Valley's participation in the league cheering competition Jan. 15 in Augusta. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Scene from Medomak Valley's participation in the league cheering competition Jan. 15 in Augusta. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Scene from Medomak Valley's participation in the league cheering competition Jan. 15 in Augusta. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Scene from Medomak Valley's participation in the league cheering competition Jan. 15 in Augusta. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Scene from Medomak Valley's participation in the league cheering competition Jan. 15 in Augusta. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Scene from Medomak Valley's participation in the league cheering competition Jan. 15 in Augusta. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Scene from Medomak Valley's participation in the league cheering competition Jan. 15 in Augusta. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Scene from Medomak Valley's participation in the league cheering competition Jan. 15 in Augusta. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Scene from Medomak Valley's participation in the league cheering competition Jan. 15 in Augusta. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Scene from Medomak Valley's participation in the league cheering competition Jan. 15 in Augusta. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Scene from Medomak Valley's participation in the league cheering competition Jan. 15 in Augusta. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Scene from Medomak Valley's participation in the league cheering competition Jan. 15 in Augusta. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Scene from Medomak Valley's participation in the league cheering competition Jan. 15 in Augusta. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Scene from Medomak Valley's participation in the league cheering competition Jan. 15 in Augusta. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Scene from Medomak Valley's participation in the league cheering competition Jan. 15 in Augusta. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Scene from Medomak Valley's participation in the league cheering competition Jan. 15 in Augusta. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Scene from Medomak Valley's participation in the league cheering competition Jan. 15 in Augusta. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Scene from Medomak Valley's participation in the league cheering competition Jan. 15 in Augusta. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Scene from Medomak Valley's participation in the league cheering competition Jan. 15 in Augusta. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Scene from Medomak Valley's participation in the league cheering competition Jan. 15 in Augusta. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Scene from Medomak Valley's participation in the league cheering competition Jan. 15 in Augusta. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Scene from Medomak Valley's participation in the league cheering competition Jan. 15 in Augusta. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Scene from Medomak Valley's participation in the league cheering competition Jan. 15 in Augusta. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Scene from Medomak Valley's participation in the league cheering competition Jan. 15 in Augusta. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Scene from Medomak Valley's participation in the league cheering competition Jan. 15 in Augusta. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Scene from Medomak Valley's participation in the league cheering competition Jan. 15 in Augusta. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Scene from Medomak Valley's participation in the league cheering competition Jan. 15 in Augusta. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Scene from Medomak Valley's participation in the league cheering competition Jan. 15 in Augusta. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Scene from Medomak Valley's participation in the league cheering competition Jan. 15 in Augusta. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Scene from Medomak Valley's participation in the league cheering competition Jan. 15 in Augusta. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Scene from Medomak Valley's participation in the league cheering competition Jan. 15 in Augusta. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
Scene from Medomak Valley's participation in the league cheering competition Jan. 15 in Augusta. (Photo by: Mark Haskell)
If you appreciated reading this news story and want to support local journalism, consider subscribing today.
Call (207) 594-4401 or join online at knox.villagesoup.com/join.
Donate directly to keeping quality journalism alive at knox.villagesoup.com/donate.
Comments (1)
Posted by: Margie Gerrish | Jan 15, 2018 13:42

Athleticism at its best.  Congrats to all!



If you wish to comment, please login.
Note: If you signed up using our new subscriber portal, your username is the email address you registered with and your password is in all caps