SANFORD — Due to influences out of its control, the Biddeford High cheering team was tweaking its routine right into Saturday morning, hours before competing in the Class A South championships at Sanford High. Injuries to some key team members, including co-captain Savannah Berry, had the Tigers scrambling to make changes.

Once the Tigers took the floor, all the challenges they faced along the way vanished. With a score of 65.8, Biddeford edged Thornton Academy (63.6) to earn the Class A South title. Noble placed third, with a score of 63.1.

Defending Class B state champion Medomak Valley won Class B South with a score of 75.85 points. Gray-New Gloucester was second with 71.3 points, and Leavitt third at 68.4.

Earlier in the day, champions were crowned in Class C South and Class A North. Defending state champion Lisbon/St. Dominic won Class C South with a score of 71.9. Winslow (52.4) placed second and Spruce Mountain (46.7) was third. In Class A North, Oxford Hills took first with 82.9 points, ahead of defending Class A state champ Lewiston (70) and third-pace Bangor (58.5).

All teams participating in regionals are invited to compete at the state finals next Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center.

Biddeford’s title didn’t come without some anxiety.


“We actually had a two-hour practice this morning and we fixed the entire routine. We changed it around,” said Kayleigh Keely, Biddeford’s co-captain. “I’m really happy with how we performed. We’ve had a really tough season, a lot of sickness, a lot of injuries. This was our moment to actually do well.”

Keely said she could tell during warmups her team was ready to compete, despite the hurdles it faced leading into the event.

“Warmups was so good. We hit so good at warmups. That really made us confident going into the actual performance,” Keely said.

Biddeford coach Deb Lebel said that she has been concerned with her team’s spacing, but she knew early in the Tigers’ routine they were doing well. As Biddeford completed its first stunt, Lebel started to cry.

“I had tears in my eyes, it was so good,” Lebel said. “Trying to put people in and out of it has been difficult.”

Competing sixth in the nine-team Class B South field, Medomak Valley was confident as it took the floor.

“We really connected and had a lot of fun before (competing),” said co-captain Skylah Ward. “So there wasn’t a lot of stress.”

Aaliyah Thompson, a co-captain along with Ward, said the Panthers performed to their expectations.

“Once we hit that first part of the pyramid, we knew we were doing well. We screamed. We were excited,” Thompson said.

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