The St. Dominic Regional High School competition cheering squad entered the Freeport High School gymnasium on Saturday, January 14 with high expectations. Being the defending Class C state champions, these girls can expect nothing less than a repeat. Yet they must begin their journey in a normally challenging environment.

The Western Maine Conference consists of many schools covering Class B, C, and D. This conference also is home to perennial powerhouses in the teams of Poland and Wells. This competition awards a plaque to the winning team, regardless of school size. In years past, St. Dom’s competed, solidifying a place in the top three, which is nothing to be ashamed about.

In fact, conference championships were being held around the state this very weekend. Squads take this opportunity to work out the bugs, scope out other teams, and expose inexperienced cheerleaders to the pressure of performing in front of a crowd. As stated before though, the results in no way affect the team in the Regional Competition, which is set for this coming weekend.

Last weeks competition was separated into two rounds: a practice round, with a score that is not considered, and a final round that is scored and determines the finishing order. Losing five starters, St. Dom’s was expected to be a strong runner for a repeat trip to the State Competition. Fashioning a creative “Carnival” theme that was easy to recognize, the team completed a near perfect routine in the first round. According to judges, the Saints looked like a favorite for Conference Champion. Yet, many spoke too soon. The next round was not so pretty, for any team, “We dropped two stunts”, said St. Dom’s senior Kayla McKay, “We were really prepared this year, and it showed when we competed.” Unfortunately, these mishaps cost them the win, as Wells tied St. Dom’s, only taking the lead after a point deduction for a dropped stunt on the part of the St. Dom’s team.

Yet the girls should still keep their head high. The intensity was overwhelming in a well rounded routine that proved that they were the best Class C team in the WMC. With a few tweaks, the St. Dom’s cheerleading squad should add to the dynasty that has ruled Class C for over ten years.

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