AUGUSTA, Maine — Five thousand spectators walk through the swinging doors at Augusta Civic Center every year to watch the regional cheerleading championships. Their respective knowledge of the technicalities of the sport probably falls somewhere between the extremes of rabid and clueless.
You didn’t have to understand much about terminology or technique, or be score sheet literate, to recognize one thing Saturday afternoon: Lewiston was in a league of its own.
The Blue Devils moonwalked all over the rest of Eastern Class A, tumbling and dancing past the competition to the beat of a Michael Jackson tribute soundtrack.
Lewiston’s 160.5 points on a scale of 175 was its best-ever score on the sectional stage, easily outdistancing Brewer (145.9) and Bangor (139.1).
So dominant were the Devils that they all but admitted to competing against only two entities — themselves, and Western champion Marshwood. The Hawks won their half of the big-school bracket by a margin almost as wide but with a score three-tenths of a point lower.
“This gives us a great seeding at states. We get to go last, which means we’re going right after Marshwood,” Lewiston coach Lynnette Morency said. “So we’ve got to make sure that we’re better than them. Skill for skill, we out-skill them, but we’ve got to bring that performance side to it.”
Six teams in each region advanced to the state finals Saturday, Feb. 5 at Bangor Auditorium.
Oxford Hills and Edward Little finished fourth and fifth, respectively, and will join their tri-county neighbors at the next level. Hampden claimed the final transfer spot from the East.
Lewiston even admitted to leaving a little something on the mat Saturday, if subconsciously.
“I feel like progressively throughout the season we’re getting better, but we’re not going to max out our best performance until we get to Bangor,” senior co-captain Rebecca Lessard said.
Morency might have detected the mild letdown that everyone else in the auditorium surely missed.
The Devils have set a lofty standard not only in the past (three state titles from 2003 to ’06), but also this season. Lewiston rolled to the KVAC title two weeks ago.
At its own Kora Temple Shrine Classic last weekend, Lewiston unleashed an unthinkable score of 166.4.
“We took a lot of flak for it. People said, ‘That’s too high.’ But I also looked at the spread and I knew that this week may be a little bit lower. Different judges, different environment,” Morency said. “They know what they need to work on. They were flat today. They’ve got to yell louder. They’ve got to do the things that we tell them to do every day.”
Senior co-captain Ashley Blauvelt agreed with her coach’s assessment.
“I feel like we did well. I think we could always do better,” Blauvelt said. “There’s never a perfect routine. We’ve got to keep working until we get to states. Our energy level could always go up more.”
Copyright (c) 2011, Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine
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