AUGUSTA — The results of the Class C South cheerleading championship were being announced, and the runner-up spot went to Lisbon, the defending state champion and favorite coming in.

Right away, Monmouth Academy senior Brie Bates began to realize what that could mean.

“I thought we were going to be runners-up,” Bates said. “And then I heard Lisbon, and I was automatically shocked.”

Moments later she was thrilled, as Monmouth totaled 73.6 points to beat Lisbon (73.1) by half a point for the regional title Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center. Mountain Valley (64.3) was third, and Wells (61.8), Sacopee Valley (61.1) and Madison/Carrabec (58.3) also got top-six spots and the state final berth that came with them.

The win continued a strong debut for Brandon Ouellette, who took over as Monmouth’s coach before the season.

“This team is so dedicated,” Ouellette said. “The team is awesome, it’s the best team I’ve ever worked with. They’re fun, all they want to do is improve. (It was) not their best performance, but they put it out on the floor.”


Earlier in the afternoon, a pair of cheerleading powers bounced back from disappointments in Monday’s KVAC championships. Bangor, which was edged by Oxford Hills earlier in the week, won Class A North for the third straight time with a score of 92.4, beating Lewiston (86.8), Oxford Hills (86.6), Hampden Academy (76.8), Mt. Ararat (61.4) and Brunswick (60).

Another perennial Class A contender, Biddeford, later won the South regional with 86.9 points, edging Scarborough (85.3). Marshwood, Thornton Academy, Noble, Sanford and Gorham also qualified for the state meet on Feb. 8 at the Augusta Civic Center, with Sanford and Gorham tying for sixth place.

Medomak Valley, which was hampered by injury while losing to Leavitt in the KVAC meet on Monday, won its 10th straight Class B South title with 81.7 points and finished comfortably ahead of Leavitt (73.9), Morse (69.8), Erskine Academy (67.7), Gray-New Gloucester (67.6) and Freeport (61.4).

There was no repeat in C South, but it was close. There were four judges, each evaluating a different aspect of the routine. Monmouth topped Lisbon on three of the four judges’ cards, but only by a half-point or less in each instance.

After nailing their routine in practice Friday, Monmouth had a rough warm-up, Bates said. But when it was time to compete, the Mustangs delivered.

“It’s a total surprise. We dropped some stunts, they dropped some stunts,” Ouellette said. “It really comes down to the small, little things. Being clean, having fun, sportsmanship. … Between coming first and second, that’s the difference right there.”


The win took on special meaning for junior Alicen Burnham, whose mother Leanne coached the Mustangs to a regional title on the same day in 2010.

“We came into this day saying ‘This is our day, it’s our time to shine,’” Burnham said. “It’s truly special for me to come back 10 years to the day and win.”

For Bangor, Saturday was about atonement as much as adding hardware. The Rams thought they should have won the KVAC Class A title, but finished two-tenths of a point behind the Vikings after being tagged with a one-point deduction.

This time, Bangor left no doubt. The Rams’ score was considerably higher than their 88.7 from KVACs, and their winning A North score of 85.6 from a year ago.

“It feels outstanding,” co-coach Kate Robichaud said. “I think that (KVAC result) made them work just a little bit harder this week, knowing that we lost on a deduction that we didn’t even know existed. It made them work extra hard, and they pulled off the win today.”

The Rams seemed disappointed following their KVAC set. On Saturday, after performing a nearly spotless routine, they were ecstatic.


“We tell them, ‘Perform like Lewiston,’ because that’s what they do,” Robichaud said. “They’re so confident, and we need to go out there and do that because we have the skills.”

Co-coach Stephanie Crane saw that confidence as well.

“I think once they nailed that first stunt, they could almost take a deep breath and say ‘OK, our second stunt’s a little easier, our pyramid is braced,’” she said. “Once they’re past that first stunt and they’re opening tumbling, they can kind of sail away with it. They were good today.”

There was a redemption story in Class B South as well. Medomak Valley saw its streak of five KVAC Class B championships snapped after sophomore Emily Mahoney broke her hand the day before the meet.

“We had an hour to change our routine,” Coach Heather Simmons said. “She was our elite tumbler, she was a base. … It takes you all season to perfect a routine, and we had to do it in an hour.”

On Saturday, the Panthers were prepared, ready and hungry. Freshman Aaliyah Thompson stepped up, and the Medomak machine kept rolling.


“We use our banners on the wall for motivation, but those are all different stories,” Simmons said. “We have our own story every year to make, and this team is no different.”

Erskine’s routine got the Eagles into the state meet for the third time in program history.

“We’re absolutely ecstatic,” Coach Julie Wing said. “Our goal today was just to go out there and be confident and hit and make it through, and that’s what they did.”

Up in Bangor, Hermon (88.2) breezed to the Class B North title, while Brewer, Ellsworth, Presque Isle, Old Town and Lawrence also clinched state berths.

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