The Sumner High School cheerleaders, energized by a large and vociferous group of supporters and performing for the memory of former cheerleader and cheering coach Whitney Doughty, turned in a solid showing Saturday afternoon to claim their first state Class C title since 2010 at the Augusta Civic Center.
Doughty died in an all-terrain vehicle crash on May 21, 2019.
Sumner registered 80.1 points, 2.4 points better than defending champ Lisbon. Monmouth Academy (75.1) was third followed by Central of Corinth (75), Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln (66.8), Houlton (59.7), Bucksport (58.9), Wells (57.5), Sacopee Valley of South Hiram (55.6), Dexter (49.7), Mountain Valley of Rumford (49.7) and Madison/Carrabec of Anson (44.7).
Sumner co-coach Monica Pettegrow said her team turned in its best performance of the season.
“We had a great performance. I thought they had a flawless routine today,” Pettegrow said. “We came out pretty strong, especially after not having practice the last two days [due to the storm].
“We went in this morning and worked for 45 minutes on what we could do [before leaving for Augusta]. And we came out super strong. They wanted it,” Pettegrow said.
“It was definitely our best performance of the year,” agreed co-coach Jessica Snowdeal, who added that she felt morning workout was beneficial.
“That was all we needed, apparently,” said Sumner senior Devin Moshier, who pointed out that the scores validated their interpretation of the routine.
“We scored higher than we did in the regionals,” said Moshier.
Sumner scored 2.2 points higher than in its regional victory.
“We knew we wanted to win and we knew had a reason to come in and win: it was for Whitney,” Moshier said. “We all believed that so we gave what we gave on the floor.”
“We gave it all we had and we upped the standard of our routine so when we perform that routine with everything we have, it’s going to be the best every time,” senior Rhiannon Alley said.
Alley and junior Abigail Bell said their enthusiastic fans played a major role in their performance.
Among the supportive chants was “This one’s for Whitney.”
“They keep our spirits up,” Bell said.
“They’re a fantastic support system. They keep us grounded,” Alley said.
The other members of the Sumner team are Ainsley Alley, Nataly Battis, Scarlet Capitano, Mariss Colby, Robin Faulkingham, Emilee Huckins, Autumn Mowery, Emaly Rider, Sage Soule, Skylar Soule and Madlyn Warren.
Lisbon coach Nicole Adams said her team turned in its best showing of the year.
“It was terrific,” said Adams, whose team had won three of the previous five C state titles.
Central of Corinth’s 75 points were 8.9 better than its score at the regionals.