Mascenic Spirit team has the makings of a dynasty

  • Samantha Brooks is lifted high in the air by her Mascenic spirit teammates on their way to a second straight state tile. STAFF PHOTO BY BRANDON LATHAM

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 3/14/2017 6:14:39 AM

Don’t look now but Mascenic Regional High School has the early look of a dynasty in the making.

For the second straight year, the Vikings’ spirit team represented Greenville and New Ipswich and took home the New Hampshire Division IV championship with a victory this Sunday, defending its title at Pinkerton Academy in Bedford.

They took home the championship, edging out Trinity High School of Manchester by a score of 87.3 to 85.9. Rounding out the Division IV competition was Littleton High School in third, Newport High School in fourth, and Bristol’s Newfound Regional High School in fifth.

The now-two-time defending champions not only had one of their best days of the season, but did so to cap a season in which they faced all sorts of adversity, from sicknesses to injuries to dropped teammates.

Oh, and they did it as a team of only freshmen and sophomores.

“I don’t even know what to say,” coach Amy Billings proudly said shortly after the awards presentation Sunday. “There was a lot of pressure this year and all I can say is these girls know how to perform when they’re on the mat.”

Billings said the team and coaching staff are working to build a legacy of spirit and cheerleading success that has not always been present at Mascenic, and that two wins in a row is a great accomplishment for any team.

“We struggled this year, we had lots of ups and downs,” she said. “But they are performers.”

The team roster is made up of mostly sophomores. They are Shannon Agonis, Olivia Boland, Samantha Brooks, Ashley Jewell, Chelsea Holombo, Tyra Gibson, Olivia Gilbride, Havanna Sikkila, Lainey Somero and Grace Tucker. The lone freshman on the squad is Selena Tremblay. Alongside Billings, the assistant coach is Vikkie Jewell.

Every one is expected to return, and there are supposed to be about three current eighth-graders primed to join next year.

“It’s absolutely about building a culture,” Billings said.

The challenge of repeating as state champions is not lost on the athletes either.

Sophomore Lainey Somero said, “We had a much smaller team this year, a lot different team from the year before, so we had to build back up.”

Somero noted that things were not always easy for the Vikings this season, but that they were able to persevere.

“It was a rough year for us so this feels good,” she said.

If they are to defend their title again, the girls of Viking spirit are in for another tough road, but they proved this year that they are up for the challenge. With much more experience and development, Mascenic is the odds-on favorite again for the 2017-18 title.

At the division championship meet on Sunday, March 12, in Derry, all four divisions named a champion.

Home team Pinkerton Academy took the Division I title in front of a large cheering section. Division II went to Windham High School. The team from Winnisquam Regional High School in Tilton won Division III. Along with Mascenic’s Vikings, the Pinkerton Astros and Windham Jaguars were also repeat champs in their divisions.

Next for Mascenic is the New England championship in Providence, Rhode Island, this Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

 

Brandon Latham can be reached by email at blatham@ledgertranscript.com, and followed on twitter at @blathamMLT.


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