CARIBOU, Maine — Home court proved advantageous for the Caribou cheering squad Friday evening as the Vikings captured the 2013 Aroostook League Cheerleading Competition crown before a packed house.
“Winning the County competition Friday night was a goal that we set for ourselves from the very beginning of the season,” said Caribou coach Brandi Makepeace-Cote. “Caribou hasn’t won at Counties for many years and my girls were very proud to be the team that broke that losing streak. They were equally as excited to win best overall jumps, motions and tumbling, as well as best all-star stunt. It was definitely a good night.”
Team scores for the event were: 1, Caribou, 67.9; 2, Presque Isle, 66.3; 3, Houlton, 56.4; 4, Central Aroostook, 52.8; and 5, Fort Fairfield, 41.1.
Next up for the County teams will be preparing for the Eastern Maine regional competitions at the Bangor Auditorium Saturday, Jan. 26. The Class C competition begins at 9 a.m., followed by the Class D event at 11:35 a.m. and Class B at 2:35 p.m.
Makepeace-Cote said her team worked hard to perfect their routine.
“After all of their hard work and commitment to this routine, they definitely deserved the win,” she said. “They showed so much patience when things didn’t quite work at practice or when I kept changing stunts, formations, and counts on them. They were a little worried when I changed pieces of the routine Monday night, but I had full confidence in them that they would work all the changes to their advantage and they certainly did.”
Getting ready for the regional competition is now the focus, Makepeace-Cote said. The Vikings placed fourth in Saturday’s Penobscot Valley Conference large-school championships, held in Ellsworth.
“There are a few things we need to work on,” she said. “We will be adding some difficulty to the stunting as well as twist dismounts so we can earn a few more points in the stunting category. We will also be cleaning up our transitions and formations. After watching my girls compete twice now, I have noticed places here and there in the routine that just don’t work. Hopefully two weeks will be enough time to find those pieces, tweak them so they work, and then perfect them.”
The coach added she was confident her squad could earn a call-back to the state competition.
“There is no doubt in my mind that my 22 girls will be advancing on to the state competition from regionals,” she said. “They have shown so much dedication and passion for their sport and I am excited to see what they bring to the table in the next couple of weeks in preparation for the regional competition.”
Individual awards were presented in the following categories: tumbling, Jessica Sedar, Caribou and Crystal Nason, Houlton; jumping, Alexis Brewer, CAHS and Lauren Bragan, Houlton; and stunting group, Caribou.
Team awards were: spirit award, Fort Fairfield; team dance, Presque Isle; team tumbling, Caribou; team motions, Presque Isle; team jumps, Caribou; and team stunts, Caribou.
The All-Star Gymnastics team performed a routine, as did the middle school champion Central Arosotook (small school) and Caribou (large school).
Members of the Caribou squad include Sabrina Haney, Jenni Blaisdell, Gabi Ingersoll, Brianna Marte, Jessica Sedar, Melanie Biggs, Becca Malm, Mariesa Sarmiento, Chaya Karunasiri, Emma Jandreau, Mariella Marte, Karina Patterson, Vicky Fraser, Irene Thibodeau, Taylor St. Peter, Lyndsay Rowland, Laiken Tarbox, Madelyn Malone, Kelsey St. Peter, Hilary Jalbert, Kristen Haley and Mallory Patterson.
The Fort Fairfield squad, which is coached by Nicole Butler, includes Taylor Everitt, Brook Parady, Becky Theriault, Ciara Campbell, Kasidie Chapman, Sarah Owens, Marisa Clark and Paige Worcester.