AUGUSTA, Maine — Two of the state’s premiere cheerleading programs added more hardware to their respective trophy cases Saturday morning.
Central Aroostook of Mars Hill continued its dynasty with its fourth consecutive Class D championship, while Lewiston left the Augusta Civic Center with its second consecutive Class A trophy, giving the Blue Devils a remarkable six titles over the last seven years.
Brewer made its final competition of the season count as the Witches scored 88.3 points to finish second behind the Blue Devils, who accumulated 95 points.
In Class D, The Panthers’ routine featured an excellent mix of difficult stunting, tumbling and energy and they rode that wave to the program’s 10th crown overall for head coach Sami Jo Allen.
Central Aroostook scored 70 points to outdistance runner-up Penobscot Valley of Howland and Machias was a close third with 63.2 points. Fort Fairfield (52.7), Woodland (45.6) and Buckfield (42.9) were the other competitors.
The Panthers didn’t change a whole lot over the last two weeks, save for a couple of minor things.
“There was about an eight-count of dance that we changed in the first dance and about an eight-count of dance that we changed in the second dance [and] we tried cleaning up transitions,” Allen said.
In spite of having a stunt come down a tad early, Central Aroostook’s routine featured a blend of high-energy tumbling and dancing to complement its difficult stunting.
“This year was definitely different and definitely a struggle but we pulled through,” said senior captain Emilee Durost, referring to sickness and injuries that the Panthers pushed through earlier in the season.
They were also able to handle the weight of high expectations of being a perennial powerhouse.
“People think that because we have a history we’re going to win it every year, but everybody has a chance,” senior captain Sarah Gerritsen said. “You’ve got to go out there and push your hardest and do your best.”
Central Aroostook’s other squad members are Gracie Giberson, Keegan Goodine, Mersaydez Johnston, Lillie Mahan, Keara McCrum, Hunter Nicholson, Holly O’Leary, Michaela Pelletier, Olivia Pelletier, Haley Rusby, Jack Schafer, Allyssa Tilley, Jillian Tweedie and Chloe Wheeler.
In Class A, Lewiston outclassed the field with a comfortable margin over Brewer. Class A South champ Gorham took third with 88.1 points, followed by Bangor (87.2) and Marshwood of Eliot (87.1).
Lewiston featured an excellent blend of high energy, challenging stunts and dancing and tumbling in its hip-hop inspired routine in claiming another state title.
The Blue Devils are made up of Morgan Allen, Bryanna Bagnato, Maggie Belleau, Jenna Burton, Megan Gaudette, Jordan Girouard, Sydney Hill, Hailee Ingerson, Katelyn Ingerson, Marissa Larock, Abby Levasseur, Maraeka Merchant, Kali Monteiro, Maddie Morgan, Jillian Pelletier, Ali Porter, Grace Porter, Maddie Regner, Nick Roy, Shelby Rucker, Brianna Melanson and Tawni Zamrock.
The young Witches, who feature a roster loaded with freshmen and sophomores, picked the right time to put together their best routine of the season.
The Witches struggled to an eighth-place finish at the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference championships, but instead of doubting themselves, they kept pushing and persevering.
“We just worked so hard after placing eighth at KVAC’s,” said senior captain Castine Barry-Grant. “We just put a lot of hard work into it. Our coaches really pushed us.”
Brewer’s highly energetic routine featured a great mixture of difficult stunting and tumbling, and the Witches brought a packed house to its feet.
“We put switch-ups in for our stunting and we did a little bit more tumbling,” Barry-Grant said.
Fellow captain Cooper Walsh pointed to chemistry as a big factor in the Witches’ leaving Augusta with hardware.
“We’re always behind each other, always cheering each other on,” he said. “We’ve just worked so hard.”
Jared Hoxie, Brewer’s other male member, showcased some outstanding tumbling skills.
“I was crying tears of joy. [There’s] nothing comparable,” Barry-Grant said.
Brewer’s other team members are Faith Allen, Lily Canders, Kurstin Chute, Caroline Collins, Cecelia Ford, Laura Ford, Lauren Forrest, Kaitlyn Helfen, Michaela Hersey, Erica Karp, Courtney Melvin, Lauren Richardson and Sophi Veinote.