High school cheering

Eight straight: Medomak Valley best of best again in Class B South

Panthers outcompete 13-team field, advance to states Feb. 10 in Bangor
By Staff | Jan 27, 2018

Augusta — Each year, the Medomak Valley High School cheering squad has a bundle of goals, with three of the most important being to complete the coveted and difficult-to-attain trifecta — namely, league, regional and state championship performances.

Well, most years, the Panthers accomplish two of the three, while the third, and most sought after, had eluded them.

Perhaps not this winter.

Medomak Valley will have another chance to grab the triple crown of school cheering competition after the Panthers won the Class B South championship on Saturday afternoon, Jan. 27 at the Augusta Civic Center.

As one of the top six finishers at the regional competition, Medomak Valley moves on to the state Class B championships on Saturday, Feb. 10 at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. The Panthers finished third in the states last year.

At this year's regional competition, the top six finishers, and those who move on to the states, include: Medomak Valley 76.2, Gray-New Gloucester 66.8, Leavitt of Turner 60.2, Morse of Bath 58.5, Mountain Valley of Rumford 58 and Spruce Mountain of Jay 50.9.

Whether referred to as West or South, on Saturday, with their typical technically-difficult and high-energy performance, Medomak Valley won the regional crown for the eighth straight season.

The Panthers also won the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B championship competition on Monday, Jan. 15 at the Augusta Civic Center.

The Panthers, guided by head coach Heather 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.

“Saturday was very exciting,” said Simmons. “We didn’t have a perfect day but worked very hard leading up to regionals adding difficulty to our pyramid and tumbling run and those pieces went well for us. We are focused on building confidence and improving our showmanship and overall perfection of the routine for the next two weeks.”

The team scores from the Class B South competition, with scores from the four judges and final tally indicated, included: Medomak Valley, 17.3, 18.8, 18 and 22.1 for 76.2; Gray-New Gloucester, 14.8. 17.3, 17.5 and 17.2 for 66.8; Leavitt, 16.2, 13.1, 13.4 and 17.5 for 60.2; Morse, 10.6, 15.4, 15.7 and 16.8 for 58.5; Mountain Valley, 13.2, 16.3, 14. and 14.5 for 58; Spruce Mountain, 11.4, 11.2, 12.2 and 16.1 for 50.9; Freeport, 11, 12, 13.6 and 13.3 for 49.9; Poland, 11.7, 13.5, 14.8 and 13.5 and 53.5 (5-point deduction for 48.5); Wells, 9.7, 13, 12.6 and 12 for 47.3; Lake Region, 10.8, 12.6, 9.8 and 12.6 and 45.8; Oak Hill of Sabattus, 10.9, 9.5, 10.2 and 13.6 for 44.2; Fryeburg Academy, 5.7, 10.7, 10.4 and 11.3 for 38.1; and Lincoln Academy of Newcastle, 8.6, 7.5, 10.1 and 9 for 35.2 (5-point deduction for 30.2).

This year's 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 have never won a state crown, despite being in the running nearly every year in recent memory.

In regards to accomplishing their ultimate goal, Simmons said: “We will be ready. As always we had huge support from our community which always makes the kids feel that much more excited. Wherever the cards fall, this team has worked at a really high level of excellence and hopefully it all pays off.”

Courier Publications' sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com or by phone at 594-4401.

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