Dexter, ME-- The Dexter Tigers put in a more difficult stunt before the Eastern Maine class cheering regional on January 26th at the Bangor Auditorium.
"I thought it went excellent. We put in a more difficult stunt," Tigers coach Kacie Ladd said. "I was keeping my fingers crossed whether it would go or not. Watching the routine and seeing everything hit and seeing the energy I knew we did well. As a coach you are not able to see everyone compete at the Auditorium. I didn't know exactly how we have done."
The Tigers nailed the routine and took home their second straight Eastern Maine championship.
"We have the express ups which is the most difficult stunt,"senior David McKusick said. "The energy was really good. We try to have a positive routine and put on a performance."
Senior Aaliyah Williams added, "All of our tumbling hit. That is a key to our routine with Dave's (McKusick) full and Harley's (Ponte) layout. Our first stunt which is our scariest, hit perfectly."
The Tigers finished fourth at the 2012 state championships. Central won the 2012 state championship with 135 points. Lisbon and Orono finished second and third. All will be participating at this years state championship on February 9th at the Bangor Auditorium.
"I think the confidence is pretty good. We are not expecting anything,"Ladd said. "We do not know what western Maine looks like. We know Lisbon is strong being the number one team in western Maine. We know Orono is strong. They lost people for regionals. We are not going in thinking it is ours. It is never that easy."
Joining Dexter, Central and Orono at the Bangor Auditorium from the east will be Houlton, Sumner and Bucksport. Lisbon will come in as the western Maine champion. C
"Orono and Sumner have a really good clean routine,"McKusick said. "I heard Lisbon is pretty good."
This year the Eastern Maine champions from Dexter are a much happier, confident and prepared group going into states.
"We underwent a lot of changes after eastern Maine's last year. Before states we were a little down and had a lot of changes to make,"Ladd said. "This year so far we are working with the same routine and the same people going into states and it feels really good.We all feel better prepared before the states."
Last year the Tigers were more focused on McKusick and his health than they were about the state cheering competition.
McKusick missed the 2012 state championships with a heart infection.
"Dave is the heart of our team. Without David we felt like we were missing a big part of us because David is a big part of us,"senior Harley Ponte said. "This year having David it gives us more courage. This year we know we are ready. We know what we want. It has changed our whole entire outlook."
Williams added, "We feel way more confident with Dave. We are more sure of ourselves."
The class B and C teams will take the floor starting at 4:30 p.m.. on Monday. Class A and D will start their routines at 6:30 p.m.
Below are the members of the 2012/2013 Dexter cheering squad.