Hard work and a love of fun are what brought the Deer Isle-Stonington High School cheerleaders to first place in the East-West regional Class D cheering competition on January 26, say squad co-captains Amber Jones and Sarah Burgess.
The squad competes for the state title on Saturday, February 9, at 3 p.m. at the Bangor Auditorium. While the squad took first in regionals (and has the advantage of performing last at the state competition), the scores are not related. The squad will have to prove itself all over again with a strong performance and a solid routine.
“We had fun with it, that’s why it went well,” said Jones about winning the regional title. “And when the crowd reacts, it’s easy to have fun.”
Burgess agreed that the team was relaxed, and considered its strengths to be tumbling. “We had full-team round-offs, which is unusual for Class D,” said Burgess.
The team is extremely athletic, said Coach Kim Larsen. “They’re doing some very high-level stuff,” she said. “They’re spirited, and really strong.”
Many members of the squad have worked together for years and are very cohesive, said Larsen.
“[The] seniors have been cheering together since fifth grade,” said Jones.
The squad is practicing every day “except Sundays,” to prepare for the state competition, said Jones. While much of the routine will remain the same and continue to be polished, there are some changes. “But it’s a surprise,” said Jones.
Jones and Burgess both encourage people from the island to attend the competition. “Come and cheer us on,” said Burgess.
T-shirts are being made at Maine Camp Outfitters in support of the squad for those attending the state competition on Saturday, February 9. To order a T-shirt, contact Deborah Jones at 348-6768 or email email@example.com. T-shirt orders must be in by noon on Friday, February 1.