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Cheerleaders have record season
DIXFIELD- Flyers, tumblers, bases all moving to the sound of the music; it sounds like a three-ring circus, but nothing could be further from the truth. The Dirigo Middle School cheerleaders took their 2010-11 season on with gusto and ambition like one has never seen before.
Six-year veteran coach Karla Blackman, with help from her first-year Assistant Coach Alyssa Holmquist, and high school mentors, Dawn Blackman, Makaila Statham and Taron Mazza, instructed the 15-girl squad to two first place invitational trophies and a respectable fourth place finish at the state championships in Bangor last weekend.
Each year, the squad performs regularly at the home basketball games for both the boys and girls at the middle school. It's an added bonus to test their skill at invitational cheering competitions. This year, Blackman and Holmquist decided to enter the 11th Annual Scarborough Invitational and the Poland Spirit Invitational, where the girls took home the first place trophy for both.
“The girls have a lot of say in what their routine is going to be like,” noted Blackman. “We try to get their input as much as we can. They have a lot more fun when they have a say in what they're doing.”
In between games and competitions, the girls were found on the practice mat at Dirigo Elementary School showing their dedication to the sport during their two and a half hour practices, three days a week. With the three high school mentors standing by for added safety, the girls practiced their flying, tumbling and dancing techniques.
When asked what motivates each of them to do better than the time before, the girls collectively answered that they like that their captains motivate them, they have a lot of fun and they're proud of what they can accomplish as a team.
Blackman noted, “They seem to pull it off when it counts. They may have a poor warm up, but when they step on the floor, we know they're going to rock the competition. They really can pull it off when it's show time.”