Even after a somewhat shaky performance at the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference championships, the Medomak Valley cheerleading squad was still confident heading into Saturday’s Western Maine regionals.
Despite a couple of bobbles, the Panthers from Waldoboro had claimed the Class B title at KVACs. Coach Rachel Coor’s squad improved by leaps and bounds Saturday and was rewarded with the first regional championship in the program’s history.
“That was exciting for the kids to reach that goal,” Coor said, “so now it’s back to the drawing board.”
The state championship competition is set for Feb. 12 at the Bangor Auditorium.
Medomak’s squad members are Brittany Alexander, Nicole Angelico, Megan Boyington, Danica Bryant, Skylar Carroll, Savannah Chamberlain, Chelsea Creamer, Jennifer Delano, Kelsie Grady, Michaela Melody, Danielle Moshier, Taylor Pelkey, Jessica Prescott, Mollie Strunk, Chelsea Wedge, Charlene Wilbur and Kayla Winchenbach.
With two weeks separating the regional and state competitions and more mid-week snowstorms peppering Maine, Coor was happy to give her squad some downtime.
“We’re probably not going to do anything this week because of the weather,” she said. “I’m sort of happy for them to have a little bit of a break.”
One thing the Panthers improved on between KVACs and regionals was their stunting.
“We made a change to one entire stunt sequence, but I’d say it was a positive change as far as the routine goes,” Coor said. “We had some timing issues at KVACs, we also had some spacing issues that we fixed.”
The routine is choreographed to a variety of music, including country and hip-hop.
Medomak’s top competition at states will likely come from Eastern Maine champ Hermon, Ellsworth, and West runner-up Leavitt of Turner Center.
“If they hit a perfect performance, they’ll be happy,” Coor said. “Only one team can win and we know that, it certainly would be nice if it was us.”
Hermon has been a Class B power over the last few years under Kristie Reed.
“Hermon’s very well-coached, I have a lot of respect for Kristie,” Coor said. “We have a lot of the same coaching philosophies.”
Coor added that Ellsworth’s routine features strong tumbling and that Waterville could be in the mix as well.
As for Medomak, the Panthers have certainly come a long way in Coor’s three years of coaching, as the Panthers failed to qualify for states in her first season.
“To come from not even qualifying to being the regional champion in three years…they’ve just worked so hard,” Coor said.
That is mainly due to the fact that before they take the floor, the Panthers are generally relaxed and focused.
“They don’t get worked up about much of anything, they just know their job and they went out and did it,” Coor said.
That philosophy isn’t bound to change Feb. 12.
“They’re fired up, and they’ve had a great run so far this season. They’re ready to keep working,” Coor said. “They’re going to be ready to go, no doubt.”