Throughout the Class B and C session of the cheerleading state championships, a large section of fans repeatedly started chants such as, “Let’s go Sumner,” and, “Let’s go Tigers.”

The loudest of the chants, though, were those that focused on “doing it for Whitney.”

Whitney Doughty was a cheerleader at Sumner High School and was on the Tigers’ 2010 state championship team. She was an assistant after she graduated in 2011 until she died in an ATV accident last May.

At Saturday’s state championships at the Augusta Civic Center, Sumner was performing for Whitney and donned T-shirts with slogans like, “‘Whit’ness the comeback.” 

With Doughty on their minds, the Tigers performed a flawless routine, and took home the Class C title with a score of 80.1, beating out defending-champion Lisbon (77.7) and Monmouth (75.1). 

“It’s an amazing feeling,” Sumner coach Jessica Snowdeal. “They went out tonight and hit a flawless routine. They truly showed that they were doing it, not only for themselves, but also for Whitney. Whitney coached eight of these kids that were out on the mat today, and coached them in middle school and younger. A lot of talent shows today within those kids.”

Every aspect of Sumner’s routine went without a hitch. 

The Civic Center was loudest when Sumner was performing, and the Tigers fed of the energy from its crowd, which included Doughty’s family. 

“Our crowd was a huge help to these kids,” Snowdeal said. “It gives them a lot of adrenaline and that rush, hearing the crowd makes them really want to do it for them.”

Devin Moshier, a Sumner senior, didn’t have Doughty as a coach but came back to cheering after a hiatus in part to help his teammates try to win a title. 

“She was never personally my coach, but I have an amazing coach, Heather Tupper, and I couldn’t imagine going through what some of the girls are going through losing a coach (who was) like my Heather Tupper,” Moshier said. “It’s just so sad, and you just want to help them and do it right for them. That’s part of the reason I cheered again this year because I wanted that title that we lost last year and I wanted these girls to have a great season this year, and I knew I could help them with that.”

Moshier and his teammates pulled off a powerful performance with the help of their hyped up crowd. 

“They give us a lot of the energy that we portray on the mat,” Moshier said. “A lot of the judges and coaches from other teams love to watch us perform because we love to give a show and energy and hype people up.”

Lisbon finished runner-up to Sumner but improved on its regional score, from 73.1 to a 77.7. 

“They feel fantastic,” Greyhounds coach Nicole Adams said. “It’s been a challenging season, definitely more challenging than past ones, but they rise to every challenge. They’ve done an incredible job and they’ve upped their score from regionals, and that’s all I ask from them.”

The Greyhounds’ focus wasn’t on beating any of the other teams, such as Monmouth, which defeated Lisbon in the C South regional championship. 

“Every competition we enter, improving our score is our number one thing,” Adams said. “Focus on us and improve our score … constantly improving ourselves, pushing ourselves and pushing the envelope.”

In fourth place was Central (75), which performed a strong routine but fell to Monmouth by one-tenth of a point. Next was Mattanawcook (66.8), followed by Houlton (59.7). 

Mountain Valley finished in 11th (49.7). 

HAWKS CONTINUE STREAK

Hermon entered the Class B state championship attempting to win its fourth title in a row. Thanks to a youth program that started when some of the current cheerleaders were in second and third grade, the Hawks were able to do just that. 

Hermon earned a score of 87, edging Ellsworth (86.2) and Medomak Valley (82.4). 

“Honestly, every year is completely different,” Hermon coach Kristie Reed said. “This is the first year of a full group of the youth team that we started when they were in second and third grade, and so it’s just fun that the whole team was on that team. Our seniors were the first group to graduate from that, so it’s a pretty cool thing to watch.”

One senior, Brooklyn Brown, won a state title every year of her high school career. She said this year’s squad used a synchronized team effort to take the B title. 

Hermon had clean motions and no drops in its lifts. The team didn’t change too much from regionals, at which the Hawks claimed the B North title. 

“Just hitting our routine. We upped a little bit of difficulty from regionals to states, but honestly it’s just hitting it,” Reed said. “It’s not worth doing difficulty if you’re not hitting it.”

In fourth place was Leavitt (80.4), which flexed its tumbling and synchronized dancing.  

Next was Presque Isle (76.5), followed by Morse (75.7). Gray-New Gloucester finished in 10th (67.8).


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