February 24, 2020
High School Sports Latest News | Child Welfare System | Bangor Metro | Kevin Hancock | Today's Paper

Central Aroostook captures D North/South cheering regional title

Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
Central Aroostook of Mars Hill celebrates its victory in Saturday's Class D North/South regional cheering competition at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

Central Aroostook captures D North/South cheering regional title|

Defending six-time state champ Central Aroostook High School of Mars Hill rattled off a highly creative and near-flawless performance Saturday afternoon to cruise to the Class D North/South regional cheerleading championship at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

Central Aroostook has captured 11 state titles over the last 12 years.

The Panthers led a parade of eight teams that qualified for the state championships Feb. 8 at the Augusta Civic Center.

Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
Central Aroostook hits their pyramid in the class D north/south regional cheer competition at the Cross Insurance Center Saturday. Central Aroostook placed first and advances to the state championships in Augusta on Feb. 8.

Twelve teams combined participated from the North and South regions. A minimum of 11 were required to send eight teams to the states. Ten or fewer would have resulted in only the top six advancing.

Central Aroostook racked up 74.9 points with Penobscot Valley of Howland (63.3) and Bangor Christian (58.1) rounding out the top three.

Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
Central Aroostook flyers pull heal stretches during the class D north/south regional cheer competition at the Cross Insurance Center Saturday. Central Aroostook placed first and advances to the state championships in Augusta on Feb. 8.

The other qualifiers were Woodland (53), Lee Academy (51.6), Penquis of Milo (49.4), Machias (46.6) and Wiscasset (44.9).

Schenck of East Millinocket, which brought cheering back this year after a multi-year absence, was ninth (40.5), and the other teams were Buckfield (40), Fort Fairfield (31.7) and Boothbay Region (29.1).

Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
Penobscot Valley performs their routine during the class D north/south regional cheer competition at the Cross Insurance Center Saturday. The Howlers placed second and advance to the state championships in Augusta on Feb. 8.

“We did very well for what we’ve been through this year,” Central Aroostook coach Sami Jo Allen said. “We nailed it.”

The Panthers had been riddled by injuries and Allen lost her father, Wallace Pryor.

Central Aroostook cheerleaders have overcome two concussions, two shoulder injuries, a dislocated elbow and a sprained ankle.

Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
Lee Academy performs their routine in the class D north/south regional cheer competition at the Cross Insurance Center Saturday. Lee Academy placed fifth and advances to the state championships in Augusta on Feb. 8.

All but freshman Riley Prince (dislocated elbow) have returned.

“On a scale of one to 10, it was an eight and a half,” said Janice Lyons, the other coach. “There is always room for improvement.”

“It was one of our best performances of the year, by far,” senior Alyssa Tilley said. “Considering all of our ups and downs throughout the year, our performance was amazing. We gave it all we got. We put it all on the mat.”

“I’m proud of every single person on this team,” senior Mersaydez Johnston said. “We have pushed through and fought since day one to make the routine the best it could have been.”

Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
Central Aroostook took first place in the class D north/south regional cheer competition at the Cross Insurance Center Saturday. Central Aroostook will head to the state championships in Augusta on Feb. 8.

Tilley and Johnston praised their coaches for their creativity in putting together the routines.

The other team members are Gracie Bailey, Megan Brewer, Katie Carvell, Amy Geritsen, Gracie Giberson, Elizabeth Hotham, Madison Howlett, Anna Kilcollins, Delaney McKeen, Jenna Rusby, Jack Schafer and Janelle Tweedie.

Penobscot Valley turned in a solid performance but one of its pyramids collapsed, which proved costly. Flyer Kiera Hatch landed on her teammates but was not injured.

Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
Machias performs their routine in the class D north/south regional cheer competition at the Cross Insurance Center Saturday. Machias placed seventh and advances to the state championships in Augusta on Feb. 8.

“Unfortunately, it’s hard to overcome a five or six-point deduction, which is what we got,” Penobscot Valley coach Wendy Clark-Thurlow said. “We had performed [the pyramid] better, and our performance wasn’t our best today.

“I’m glad we have another shot to do it. We have a couple of weeks to fine-tune and perfect those stunts, and we’ll see where we’re at,” Clark-Thurlow said.

She felt her team would have been extremely close to Central Aroostook if it wasn’t for the miscue.

Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
A Penobscot Valley flyer goes up in a basket toss during the class D north/south regional cheer competition at the Cross Insurance Center Saturday. The Howlers placed second and advance to the state championships in Augusta on Feb. 8.

“The fall kept us from doing another stunt that was supposed to go right after that one,” Clark-Thurlow said.

She said Central Aroostook was a deserving winner.

“Central Aroostook is always a top contender in this division. We usually give them a decent run for their money, but they have a lot of the elements,” Clark-Thurlow said.

Saturday’s competition was like a throwback to the 1980s as several teams used music from that decade in their routines.

 


Have feedback? Want to know more? Send us ideas for follow-up stories.

You may also like