BHS Cheering team brings home the gold


Portland Press Herald photo by B

Biddeford cheerleaders compete at the state cheerleading championships at the Augusta Civic Center. (Photo courtesy of the Portland Press Herald. Photo by Brianna Soukup)

Alexis Thompson, Staff Writer

The Biddeford High School Tiger cheerleaders continue to push through and head to their last competition, New Englands, after winning at the Regional and State competitions in January.

Biddeford Tiger Cheerleaders brought home the golds from the the Regional and State competitions, both held at the Augusta Civic Center. Biddeford placed first with nearly perfect scores. The team scored a 82.6 at Regionals and a 92.7 at States, both scores out of 100. Moving forward, the team will be competing in New Englands during March, which is the last competition of their season.

After last year’s hard loss at New Englands, the girls on the cheering team have come together even stronger this season to win it all.

The season had a rough start because of division amongst the team, but the team pulled together to bond as teammates and win first place.

“I’ve just pushed my hardest to help do my part and show my teammates I’m committed and care about the team as much as they do,” sophomore Delaney Hatch said.

Hatch has been on Biddeford varsity cheering team both years she’s been in high school. She’s now had back-to-back Regional wins and she said these wins continue to push her to help her team see their talent and potential.

Not all of the girls were able to compete, however.

“With me having a concussion most of the season, I had to push my teammates on the floor to be the best they can be by helping them with issues,” said junior Mercedes Thomes.“Before every competition, I would hug each one of them and tell them I love them to boost their confidence.”

Even though Thomes had an injury through most of the season, she has still been adamant to help the team strive and feel confident about their next competition. She said she is looking forward to joining the team again in March for New Englands.

The girls are ready for what the rest of the season has in store for them.

“My hopes for the rest of the season are for everyone to continue to get along as a family and to work even harder so we can follow through with our Regional champion title and take the States title as well,” said senior Cassidy Mawhinney,  “Even if we don’t win, I hope that we hit [stunts] and do the best we can, since it’s my last year and potentially my last competition.”

Mawhinney has been a huge part in making the team bond and grow as a family in order to be able to win the competitions. She has hosted countless team dinners and sleepovers to provide a space for the girls to have fun and come together before big competitions.

“I feel that I have had an impact on pushing the team to be one whole rather than 21 girls. I like to give pep talks when I can tell we’re struggling,” said Mawhinney. “I let people know that they can do something that they’re struggling with. This is important because people don’t always know how to give their all, we give into injuries, [bad] attitudes, and weaknesses sometimes, and this affects the whole team.”

Since this is Mawhinney’s eighth season of high school cheering, and there are only three seniors on the team, she said she has made it her goal to be the one who pushes the team.

The team has difficult routines and stunts.

“With how much talent and skill we have on the team, we’re pretty confident with our routine. We’re known for our jumps and tumbling, but this year, people are noticing our difficulty in stunts and that we’re hitting them,” freshman Selena Huot said.

Through the start of the season, many girls on the team had a hard time believing in themselves and the team due to the separation of many of the cheerleaders on the team faced due to high school drama. As the important competitions came closer they all started to realize the talent the team had and that it shouldn’t be wasted because of division of the team.

“I try and push everyone to be better. Our whole team is very supportive of each other, and we always try and pick each other up and push each other to be the best they can be,” Hatch said.

Being there for one another is the main goal for the team. Win or lose they just want to support each other and make everyone feel apart of the cheer family.

“The advice I would leave my teammates as they continue their future seasons on [the team] is to drop all drama and get along,”  said Mawhinney, “Don’t let the days pass you by, to work hard at every practice, and to make every practice fun, but work hard. This is the only way you will get anywhere as a whole.”

As the girls move forward to their last competition, they hope to win one last medal this season and bring home a seventh ring for their coach. Their ambition and hard work has won them two first place awards and they are continuing to push for three. Their last competition will be held in Providence, Rhode Island on March 16.