We’ve all dealt with the snow recently, and if you’re a high school sports fan, you’ve no doubt noticed how the schedules have been made crazy because of all the postponements.

Cheerleading teams have dealt with the same thing — and right before their biggest competition of the season.

The state cheerleading championships are Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center. The Class B and C competitions begin at 10 a.m., while the Class A and D competitions begin at 2:30 p.m. Among local schools, Gardiner, Lawrence, Madison and Monmouth are all in the running for state titles. They’re also dealing with limited practice time since regionals.

“We’ve missed four practices,” Madison coach Amber Noyes said. “That’s pretty huge when you only have like nine chances.”

“I think over the last two weeks, we’ve only been able to have three or four practices, total,” Lawrence coach Alicia Curtis said. “It’s been a tough two weeks.”

The teams qualified by scoring in the top six at regionals. Madison placed second in Western C with 120.6 points, just ahead of Monmouth at 119.1. Lawrence had a score of 133.1 to take third in Eastern A, while Gardiner’s score of 128.2 was good for third in Eastern B.

Noyes and Curtis both said they didn’t change much from the routines their teams performed at regionals.

“I’m a coach — I’ll go out and chance it, so to speak, but I want them to have a clean routine,” Noyes said.

Gardiner went from 115.5 at the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference competition in Augusta to a nearly 13-point improvement at the Eastern B regionals in Bangor. The Tigers have four new team members this year in Mikayla Palmer, Danikah Chartier, Amitie Carey and Hunter Norris. Coach Jeanne Moody said she does talk to her newcomers about what to expect at big competitions.

“I usually start the conversation out, and then let the seniors take over,” Moody said. “The seniors have been great mentors. (The newcomers) have had KVACs and regionals, so they know what to expect as far as looking up and seeing a crowd.”

Gardiner has had just two practices over the last two weeks, although Moody said the Tigers did perform the routine four times at basketball games during that period. She said she didn’t change anything from the routine used at regionals. At this point, most schools are simply looking to perfect what they’ve already done well.

“My goal for (Saturday) is just to hit a clean routine — really, just trying to beat our score,” Curtis said. “You’re always in competition not only with other people, but with yourself.”

The adjustments Monmouth made since regionals were also minor.

“We haven’t changed that much,” Monmouth freshman Jenna Brown said. “For a couple of the stunts, we’ve changed a few things to make them more difficult. But overall, it’s still the same.”

One human interest note is that Noyes, the Madison coach, is pregnant — and her due date is this coming Tuesday. She’ll still be coaching the Bulldogs at states.

“I promised I would sit in a chair in the coaches’ box, instead of my usual jumping and screaming,” Noyes said.

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

[email protected]

Twitter: @Matt_DiFilippo


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