Panthers capture fifth straight cheering state title, 10th in 11 years

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MARS HILL, Me (WAGM) - The Central Aroostook cheer team captured their fifth straight Class D State Championship and 10th in 11 years. Despite all the success over the years, the team was very surprised to hear their name called last.

"Cheering is one of those sports that you don't know if you've won it until the end and it was exactly that. We were so nervous sitting on those mats and waiting for the last results. When we heard PVHS called second a lot of the girls started crying because we thought we didn't have it. Then hearing our name was utter shock because we had no idea," said senior Keara McCrum.

"It was all really exciting and we were all surprised. It was a really good performance, but we did have a few shaky spots. We pulled it together and finished strong and we finished first, what we wanted," said senior Michaela Pelletier.

The Panthers cleaned up several parts of their routine from regionals to claim the crown once again.

"Our tumbling definitely improved and we added a couple of more tumblers. Our stunts were phenomenal, we changed some counts, fixed the dance and I think we just improved up in the categories we were lacking for regionals," explained senior Hunter Nicholson.

"We hit almost all of our stunts and it was an outstanding feeling to know that we messed up in our pyramid, but we all came together and ended up finishing strong. We were able to push through the pyramid, push through the end of the dance, and almost have a solid routine," added senior Chloe Wheeler.

The team gives a lot of the credit to coaches Sami Allen and Janice Mosher for helping to create some great team chemistry.

"The coaches are definitely like our second moms. They have to support us no matter what and they never let us get down about ourselves. They're the best coaches in the state of Maine," said senior Holly O'Leary.

"It is my senior year and I definitely will miss coming to practices all the time and being with all these people. But it will be very sad next season when I'm not on the blue mats with them. I just want to say how proud of how far they have come," added senior Lillie Mahan.