February 25, 2010

Biddeford continues its reign

ANDREA LAPOINTE

— By

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Staff photo by Joe Phelan The Biddefored team performs during the Maine Principals Association Class A State Cheering Championship Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center. The Tigers won their third championship in a row.

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Staff photo by Joe Phelan Biddefored Tigers won the Maine Principals Association Class A State Cheering Championship Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center.

Additional Photos Below

Special to the Telegram

AUGUSTA — Much like pop music performer Lady Gaga at the Grammy Awards, the Biddeford High School cheerleading squad stole the show Saturday.

Their performance at the state championships went just like their theme, ''You'll go Gaga for us,'' as the Tigers captured their third consecutive Class A title in front of a capacity crowd at the Augusta Civic Center.

''Boy, what a feeling,'' said Biddeford Coach Debbie Lebel. ''It's great. This is what we were working for all season and we pulled it out.''

The Tigers topped the 12-team field, scoring 161.5 points out of a possible 175 to beat runner-up Lewiston (155.4) by over six points. Only 2.6 points separated Lewiston, Bangor (154.4 points) and Scarborough (152.8).

Biddeford was the favorite after winning the Western Class A title last weekend, and the Tigers lived up to their hype. They compiled a nearly flawless, energy-filled routine and were owners of the competition's largest pyramid formation.

''It was our dream to be here and win like this,'' Lebel said. ''But, did we think that we would be here? I'm not sure if we did.''

Senior co-captain Alycia Gelinas said the championship, the fourth in program history, didn't come without a lot of work and even some uncertainty.

''We have had a really rough past couple of weeks,'' she said. ''We had a lot of injuries and girls out, so this is actually the first time since regionals that we got to perform as a full team.''

''We were really excited to get out there and just show everyone what we could do. We practiced really hard this week and we just went out and hit it.''

The Tigers weren't the only team to record their third straight championship.

Central Aroostook bested the six-team Class D field for its version of a three-peat, defending its proclamation that the squad is made up of ''shooting stars.''

It was the Panthers' eighth state championship, which ties Monmouth Academy's state record.

''That was a big surprise,'' Coach Sami Allen said. ''We were not expecting that at all. I don't even look at the books before we come in. I just knew we were going for our third straight title and that's what we were going for.''

The Panthers, who scored 128 points, had a clean routine that featured an impressive solo lift by the only male on their team.

Deer Isle-Stonington was the Class D runner-up with 115 points, followed by Buckfield (114.1) and Machias (105.1).

Titles also keep rolling in for Poland, which won its second Class B championship in three years and third in program history with 146.8 points. Ellsworth (145.9) was the runner-up, followed by Hermon (141.5) and Presque Isle (137.2).

In addition to their blue and white uniforms, the Knights were also decked out in neon green. Senior captain Sophie Geelhoed said they chose the bright color so they would stand out.

''We just wanted to bring attention to (ourselves) and we definitely did,'' she said. ''This season was nothing short of perfect and the team has just done so well.''

In Class C, Sumner captured its first state championship, knocking off two-time defending champion Monmouth. The Tigers scored 132.2 points, followed by runner-up Central (130.1), Dexter (128.4) and Houlton (125).

Sumner Coach Monica Chipman credited the successful year to a newly challenging routine.

''We put a lot of difficulty into our routine this year,'' she said. ''I really wanted to step it up a level because my kids are really capable of it. We stepped up the difficulty of our stunting, added four more tumblers this year and a male on the team. It worked.''

The top three teams from each class qualify for the New England championships March 20 in Providence, R.I.

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Additional Photos

click image to enlarge

Staff photo by Joe Phelan Wells High School performs during the Maine Principals Association Class B State Cheering Championship Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center.

click image to enlarge

Staff photo by Joe Phelan Oak Hill High School flyer Veronica Pringle is held up Raider teammates during the Maine Principals Association Class B State Cheering Championship Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center.

click image to enlarge

Staff photo by Joe Phelan The Biddefored team performs during the Maine Principals Association Class A State Cheering Championship Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center. The Tigers won their third championship in a row.

click image to enlarge

Staff photo by Joe Phelan Biddefored Tigers won the Maine Principals Association Class A State Cheering Championship Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center.

click image to enlarge

Staff photo by Joe Phelan Wells High School performs during the Maine Principals Association Class B State Cheering Championship Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center.

click image to enlarge

Staff photo by Joe Phelan Oak Hill High School flyer Veronica Pringle is held up Raider teammates during the Maine Principals Association Class B State Cheering Championship Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center.



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