Jan. 22—RUMFORD — Lisbon/St. Dom's coach Nicole Adams was all smiles after her young Greyhounds squad nailed its routine at Mountain Valley High School.
The team, comprised of three sophomores and 10 freshmen, captured the Mountain Valley Conference championship with a score of 71.1. For many of the athletes, it was their first conference championship competition.
"It definitely met expectations," Adams said. "I have a very young team and that's the hardest challenge right there, is what they were going to expect going into it. None of them have competed here before. Last year, we were still behind a mask and the MVCs didn't take place in person. Before that (in 2021), we weren't here either."
The Greyhounds are the defending Class C South and Class C state champions.
Sophomore Mackenzie Theriault added there was a lot of communication from the team members heading into the competition.
"It took a lot of time on the mat and a lot of team talks and encouragement from our coach," Theriault said.
Lisbon/St. Dom's beat out Dirigo, which finished in second with a score of 52.5, nearly four points ahead of third-place Mountain Valley (48.6). Spruce Mountain (42.6) finished fourth and Boothbay (24.2) was fifth.
The Greyhounds were the fourth team to take the mat and sophomore Nevaeh Fortin said there was trepidation heading into the three-minute routine.
"It felt very good to show everyone our routine," Fortin said. "I feel like we worked really hard to get it how it is. We were all nervous for our stunts, but we ended up putting it together."
The routine was clean, with Lisbon/St. Dom's not incurring any deduction penalties from the four judges.
Adams said the team did a walkthrough at practice on Thursday, knowing there was a good chance there would be no school Friday because of the storm.
"We treated Thursday as almost like a competition," Adams said. "We walked in, we warmed up our jumps, we warmed up our stunts, and did a run-through."
Dirigo missed three straight practices, according to coach Ami-Jo Greco. The Cougars had to change the routine because of it.
"We did do some adjustments. We changed our pyramid. We took a little bit of difficulty out until we can execute it better," Greco said.
The Cougars were deducted three points from their final score for cheerleaders going under a stunt early in the routine. Greco said that mistake is easily fixable.
Overall, Greco was pleased with the performance and hopes her athletes are ready to improve for the Class C South regional championship, which is scheduled for Feb. 4.
"They will use the momentum to work even harder in practice," Greco said.
All five teams will head to regionals which are being held at Sanford High School and Mount Desert Island.