Left with a skeleton crew of nine cheerleaders last year, Lisbon coach Nicole Adams somehow squeezed an MVC title and solid top-six finishes at regionals and states out of the Greyhounds.
This year, with the return of a large junior class, the size of Adams’ squad doubled and the Greyhounds are one step away from being back on top after claiming the Class C South regional championship at the Augusta Civic Center on Saturday.
“We had 15 performing today so we were able to up our difficulty,” Adams said. “Hit clean was our goal.”
Lisbon hit clean on virtually everything while defeating runner-up and defending champion Dirigo, 66.7 -56.8.
“This is the best feeling in the world,” said Alyssa Hall, Lisbon’s lone senior. “We just needed to come in today and just do what we can do, not think too much and just go for it.”
Injuries and illness had Dirigo scrambling and in survive-and-advance mode to advance to the state championships, which are Feb. 11 at ACC.
“We had some late changes just as of a couple of days ago,” Dirigo coach Ami-Jo Arsenault said. “We had girls who learned a whole new dance and a whole new cheer. But their stunts were solid. We had to back it down to one stunt, but overall, that’s what we were hoping for.”
Monmouth Academy (54.5) edged out Sacopee Valley (55.4) for third place. Wiscasset (50.8) and Boothbay (50.3) also qualified for the state competition.
Two years ago, Lisbon became the first C South/West team to win the state title since 2009. Their next goal is to become the second.
“We had a bobble today, so our goal is to keep that up in the air at states,” Adams said.
“We’ve got to go to practice every day ready to work, like you just lost,” Hall said.
Leavitt makes emotional return to Class B states
Medomak Valley earned its seventh Class B South title in a row, beating runner-up Wells, 79.2 – 72.1.
Leavitt, which was runner-up to Medomak at last week’s KVAC championship, continued its emotional season with a third-place finish in Class B South.
The Hornets dedicated their season to the late Brenda Perry, who coached them for 14 years until her two-year battle with breast cancer ended in September.
“Every single performance, we always say ‘For Brenda. Don’t do it for yourself. Do it for her. Put your heart out for her because she put her heart out for us,'” senior Emmalee Duguay said.
Spurred by Perry’s memory and the disappointment of a rare missed trip to states last year, the Hornets finished third at the Class B South regional championships Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center.
The Hornets advanced to the state championship on Feb. 11 at the ACC.
“It hit us all very hard, so for them to come back this season, and to come back really strong…” Leavitt coach Beth Hutchinson said. “This season’s for (Perry), and they’re showing that on the mat. They really have dedicated this season to her.”
Stunting issues doomed the Hornets last year. On Saturday, they relied on the difficulty of their stunts and their discipline to push past fellow state qualifiers Freeport (65.2), Mountain Valley (64.6) and Morse (63.8).
“We just had high hopes because of what happened last year. It’s like a redemption year for us,” Duguay said.