Eastern Maine Champs!

13 years ago

Houlton Pioneer Times Photo/Joseph Cyr
ne-clr-Regional Champs-dc-pt5CHAMPIONS — Members of the Houlton High School cheering squad show off their Eastern Class B championship plaque following Saturday’s win in the regional competition at the Bangor Auditorium. The Shires will compete for the State title on Saturday, Feb. 12, also at the Bangor Auditorium. Additional photos can be found in the sports section.

Shiretowners capture Class C cheering crown
By Joseph Cyr
Staff Writer

    BANGOR — Fresh off its win in the Aroostook County cheering competition last month, the Houlton squad added another trophy to its collection Saturday by winning the Eastern Class C competition at the Bangor Auditorium.
    The Shiretowners narrowly edged Orono for the regional crown and advance to the state competition to be held Saturday, Feb. 12, also at the Bangor Auditorium.
    “This is all we have been working for this whole year,” said Houlton senior March Hernandez. “My senior year is complete now.”
    Team scores from the competition were: 1, Houlton, 134.1; 2, Orono, 131.6; 3, Central, 131.1; 4, Sumner, 129.1; 5, Dexter, 123.9; 6, Penobscot, 105.9; 7, Calais, 105.5; 8, Washington Academy, 104.7; 9, Foxcroft Academy, 102.1; 10, Narraguagus, 100.2; 11, George Stevens, 97.7; 12, Woodland,  97.6; and 13, Penquis, 97.4.
    Last year, Houlton finished second in the regional competition and were fourth in the state event.
    On Saturday, Houlton wowed the crowd with its energetic routine and impressive tumbling skills, particularly those of senior Brandon Murphy. Murphy stuck multiple back flips, showcasing remarkable gymnastic skills.
    “I have been working all summer on my tumbling skills to perfect them,” Murphy said. “This puts the topping on my senior year, but we still have States to go.”
    Houlton arrived in Bangor Friday evening in order to get to the Auditorium early. If there were any pre-competition jitters, those quickly vanished as soon as the Shires took the mat.
    “At the Caribou competition, we all got together and were dancing before our routine, which got us excited,” Hernandez said. “We did the same thing here today, and I think it really helps us get going.”
    “This week, we have had some struggles, so we were not really sure how it would go,” said coach Julie Dunn. “This was the first time I have seen them nail their routine like they did. We really had no idea coming down how this would go.”
    “We’ve had some rough seas this past week,” said co-coach Shari Good. “There’s been a combination of factors. We honestly did not know how they would do today.”
    Despite the veteran leadership of its seniors, Houlton is a relatively young squad, with 11 sophomores on the roster.
    “Now those sophomores have had a taste of what this is all about,” Dunn said. “We’ll take the score sheets and tear them apart to get ready for States.”
    Members of the Houlton squad include: seniors Murphy, Jenn Farrar, Danielle Daigle, Hernandez and Taylor Lindsay; juniors Jaclyn Hodgkins and Dakota Jenkins; sophomores Melissa Peabody, Crystal Nason, Erynne Howland, Lauren Bragan, Taylor Forest, Sarah Bouchard, Ashley McNinch, Maggie Russell, Kristin Farwell, Lizzi Flint and Mikaela Tuttle; and freshmen, Emily Dee, Katelynn McClure, Kaycee McClure and Jessica Thorne. The managers are Realeeanna Brooker and Maryah Ranck and the assistant coach is Leah Bates.
    Houlton has two weeks to work out any kinks in their routine before the state meet.
    “We just have to clean up some of our stunts and do some more nit-picky stuff,” Murphy said.
    “We need to preach perfection,” Hernandez added. “If we can do that, we can go all the way.”