The two local teams in today’s cheerleading state championships were both, in what the coaches called, building seasons. But both also have a strong tradition in the sport, and finished in the top three in Western C.

Madison and Monmouth will compete today at the Augusta Civic Center. The Class D cheerleaders begin the day at 10 a.m., followed by Class A. The Civic Center is cleared after the presentation of awards at noon, and the Class C and B teams will alternate routines, beginning at 2:30 p.m.

“Half my team has never competed before,” Madison coach Amber Douvielle said. “I have two that have never flown before this year and two exchange students from Brazil. So it’s been a big building year, but they really work well together, they support each other, and they believe in each other.”

Monmouth has a new coach in Mike Gilbert, who last coached the Mustangs in 2002 — the year Monmouth last won the Class C title. Gilbert said Monmouth went from 18 cheerleaders last season to 10 this winter.

“Just to have Monmouth back in the states — to me, we’ve already done what we need to do,” Gilbert said.

Madison has 15 girls, and Douvielle said judges have pointed out that the Bulldogs look like they’re having fun during their routine.

“It helps a lot, the people who we’re doing it with,” said senior Crystal DaCosta. “We always have team times. We come in 15 minutes before practice so we can talk about stuff. We have Christmas parties together. I think it’s that we like each other, so we like (performing) with each other.”

Douvielle said Madison won’t be changing much from its routine at regionals. Monmouth senior Molly Plossay said the Mustangs are following pretty much the same approach.

“We haven’t changed the routine a whole lot,” she said. “We’ve just cleaned up the routine, and worked on making it tight.”

The teams from Eastern C are unknown, but the top five teams from the East scored higher than the top team, Lisbon, in the West (with different judges, of course).

“We’d like to place in the top half,” Douvielle said. “No matter how good we’ve done at regionals, we’ve never placed top half at states. So that’s really our goal.”

The top half would mean a top-six finish, since both Eastern C and Western C send six teams to regionals. Gilbert said he would like the same thing.

“I just want us all to go out and have fun, and hit our routine the best we can,” Plossay said, “and be happy with it, no matter what the outcome is.”

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]

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