Panthers capture cheering title

13 years ago

Panthers capture cheering title

By Joseph Cyr

Sports Editor

BANGOR — Can anyone compete with the Central Aroostook cheering squad? If Saturday’s performance at the regional cheering competition is any indication, that answer is “No.”

SP-CA Cheer-dc5-sh-5Staff photo/Joseph Cyr
REGIONAL CHAMPS — Members of the Central Aroostook cheering squad hoist their regional championship plaque for their fans Saturday.

The Panthers collected their fourth consecutive regional crown at the Bangor Auditorium with a sensational routine that featured multiple lifts, stunts and tumblers to blow away the competition.

CAHS’ score of 127.5 easily outdistanced second-place Jonesport-Beals (108.1). Rounding out the scoring in the Class D event were: Deer Isle-Stonington, 106.1; Machias, 101.7; Rangeley, 96.7; Buckfield, 96; and Fort Fairfield, 85.3.

The Class D Regional competition featured squads from both the East and West areas competing in the same event. The top six squads advanced to the state competition, Saturday, Feb. 12, also in Bangor.

Before taking the mat, the Panthers huddled as a group and chanted, “This is how we do it and we’ll do it again.”

“This is my fourth time winning, and it’s just awesome,” said Panther senior Kyle Donahue.

The pressure to stay at the top of their game is something that gets increasingly greater with each victory, Donahue said.

“When we saw some of the other teams competing, we were nervous,” he said. “I’m so proud of everyone on our team.”

Staff photo/Joseph Cyrsp-CA cheer-dc1-sh-5

PANTHER PROWL — Performing at Saturday’s regional Class D cheering event in Bangor is Kelli Stitham, front, and Gabrielle Brewer.

Junior Whitney Klein said winning Regionals was not a given for the Panthers this year, since the team has a bundle of new faces.

“We have so many new people this year, so we were nervous,” Klein said. “We’ve been practicing every day, two hours a day. Yesterday (Friday), we had a practice at 6:45 in the morning just to be ready.”

Watching Panther coach Sami Allen on the sidelines, it’s hard to say who jumps around more, the coach or her athletes.

“You’d think I would get used to this, but I don’t,” said Allen, who started coaching varsity in 1998. “It’s harder to stay on top, because everyone knows what you have on your roster. It’s hard to get enough tumblers. We are very lucky to have as many as we do and it’s huge for a Class D school.”

Gabrielle Brewer, a first-year senior cheerleader for the Panthers, said joining the experienced squad was a bit intimidating at first.

sp-CA cheer-dc3-sh-5Staff photo/Joseph Cyr
ON THE MOVE — Performing at Saturday’s regional Class D cheering event in Bangor is CAHS’ Colby Endy.

“They definitely have high expectations, but it’s been a lot of fun,” she said. “The team has really helped me a lot. I can’t really [tumble] that well, but they have been pushing me to try harder.”

As one of the team’s “fliers,” Klein said she gets a huge adrenalin rush when tossed high into the air.

“I love it,” she said. “In practice, I almost hit the cafeteria ceiling. It’s really fun and I trust my teammates to catch me 100 percent.”

Over the next two weeks, Allen said she will work on cleaning up the dance portion of the routine and may add a few new wrinkles. She added that assistant coach Janice Mosher has been a tremendous asset to her this season.

“There’s a few things we’re working on and hopefully we can pull those off,” Allen said.

“When we come back for States, it’s going to be 10 times better than today,” Donahue added. “We’re going to fix a bunch of stuff and some more. We want people to think ‘Wow, we thought they were good at Regionals, but this is even better.’”

Staff Photo/Joseph CyrNE-CLR-CA cheer-dc-sh-5

FOUR-TIME CHAMPS — Central Aroostook won its fourth straight regional cheering championship Saturday at the Bangor Auditorium. Showing off their plaque are, front row from left, coach Sami Allen, Kellie Stitham, Gabrielle Brewer, Kyle Donahue, Whitney Klein, Patricia Donovan and assistant coach Janice Mosher; and back, Megan King, Colby Endy, Brittany Drost, Alexis Bradbury, Laken Kingsbury and Lexi Brewer. Sitting in front is Allen’s daughter, Harleigh. See story and additional photos in Sports.

Members of the Central Aroostook squad include freshmen Colby Endy, Brittany Drost, Megan King and Alexis Bradbury; sophomores Laken Kingsbury and Lexi Brewer; juniors Klein, Patricia Donovan and Kellie Stitham; and seniors, Donahue and Brewer.

Members of the Fort Fairfield squad, which is coached by Jennifer Berube, include senior Amanda Holton; juniors Lindsey Graves, Ashley Parady, Ashley Johnston and Saki Iwaya; and freshmen Madeline Martin and Shania Nordbrook.