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Perfect routine nets second in the state for Mascenic cheer

  • The Mascenic cheerleading team took second in Division IV at the state finals on Sunday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic cheerleading team took second in Division IV at the state finals on Sunday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic cheerleading team took second in Division IV at the state finals on Sunday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic cheerleading team took second in Division IV at the state finals on Sunday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic cheerleading team took second in Division IV at the state finals on Sunday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic cheerleading team took second in Division IV at the state finals on Sunday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic cheerleading team took second in Division IV at the state finals on Sunday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Tuesday, March 13, 2018 8:27AM

A first-place finish at the NHIAA winter spirit state finals requires technique, precision and a flawless routine. As the Mascenic girls left the mat following their performance on Sunday at Pinkerton Academy, it looked like the Vikings had done just that, and a third straight Division IV title was within reach.

“We actually thought that was one of the best routines we've ever put out there,” said junior Ashley Jewell.

“We performed the routine that we know that we can hit,” said fellow junior Lainey Somero. “We tried our best and let the chips fall where they lie. I felt that we were flawless.”

It was going to be close, though, as Trinity — last year’s runner-up to the Vikings — had put on a good show of their own. It would be up to the judges. Mascenic’s team sat in the Pinkerton bleachers, anxiously awaiting the final tally.

Mascenic, 81.3 points — second place. The Vikings appeared dejected as they claimed their runner-up trophies and watched Trinity collect their first-place hardware.

“Honestly, we went and we gave our best,” Somero said. “We’re definitely surprised.”

Mascenic coach Amy Billings, faced with the first roadblock on her quest for a Viking dynasty after winning two straight titles, was realistic about the outcome. Mascenic had been flawless, for sure, but riddled with injuries, they were forced to be conservative.

“They did their job today, they had a clean routine, they did what was asked of them,” Billings said. “We had lots of injuries this year, so we were staying safe. [Trinity was] able to take more risks this year and go for more points. We wouldn’t have been able to do that and hit clean. I’m not upset at all.”

In fact, it was not much short of miraculous that the Vikings were competing at a championship level at all. With Shannon Agonis out for the season, Mascenic was short a base, and once flyer Olivia Gilbride went down with a concussion, the positional reshuffling was in full effect. The Vikings saw big contributions from freshman Selena Tremblay, who moved into a back-spotter position for the first time, as well as Samantha Brooks, who as a junior became Mascenic’s only flyer.

“She’s always been a flyer but by yourself out there, it’s a big deal,” Billings said.

Mascenic has no seniors and a solid group on the way up from Boynton, and they’ll need all the help they can get next winter, when the NHIAA is expected to drop winter spirit’s Division IV, combining Mascenic and schools of their size with the current Division III. That may seem daunting, but both Mascenic and Trinity would have beaten all of the Division III teams that competed Sunday, points-wise.

Despite coming up just short, the Vikings were in good spirits after their competition.

“We did the best we could and I'm still proud of everybody,” Brooks said.

Sports Editor Ben Conant can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 226 or bconant@ledgertranscript.com.