Patriots excited to compete at New Englands

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BENNINGTON — New was the word when the Mount Anthony cheerleading team began its season back in December. New coach, new players and new routines. With all that said, though, the Patriots have had a terrific season and will be heading down this weekend to Providence, Rhode Island, where they will compete in the New England Cheering Championships.

"We're all very excited to experience competing at New Englands," said MAU cheerleading coach Jamie George. "Our goal this season was to earn a chance to compete at New Englands and I am very proud of the girls for accomplishing that feat this season."

MAU earned its first trip to New Englands in four years when they placed third in Division I at the Vermont state competition last month. The Patriots also placed third overall for the entire 18-team competition, grabbing the bronze with a score of a 150 points.

Not too bad for a team that has only one girl returning from last year's squad.

"A lot of us, including myself are new to the scholastic form of cheerleading," said George, who is in her first year as coach for MAU. "Most of our girls have competed in all-stars, so it was different for us at the start with coming up with routines, but the girls did a great job working together and have a created a great routine that has helped us be successful this season."

George herself is a cheerleading all-star coach, owning the MAYCA Studio in Bennington where she has coached many of the girls on the MAU squad this season.

Since most of the girls on the team have competed with one another in all-stars, there wasn't much of a lag to start things off, said George, and the team was able to dive right into it to begin the season.

The team's lone senior Madelyn Minchew, who is excited to finish off her career at MAU off with a appearance at New Englands, said the team's family bond has been a big key to its success this season

"This team has been really fun to be a part of and I'm really excited to experience competing at New Englands with this team." Minchew said. "We're a very close knit group. We hang out with each other a lot outside of cheerleading and we all work really well together. We have really built a family type relationship with one another on this team."

Minchew is a part of a strong upperclassman nucleus on the Patriots' squads, as juniors Maddisyn Kinney, Kaidin Gauthier, Ashley Finklestein and Machaila Hoard have helped give MAU a solid foundation this season.

Sophomores Ciarra Raetz, Kyla Obenauer and Iris Patterson and freshman Jordan Mattison, Amber Metcalfe, Keana Gauthier and Marisa Rabideau filled out the rest of the MAU roster.

Out of the four divisions at New Englands, the Patriots will be one of 12 teams competing in Division III. All division are based on the size of the team's school.

With this being a whole new experience for the team competing at New Englands, George said the team's main objective this weekend will be to enjoy the experience and try to perform a perfect routine.

"We don't know really know what to expect, so our team is focused on performing our routine to perfection," George said. "Our routine I feel is really good and if we don't have any mistakes with it, I think will score well. We'll see what happens, but at the end of the day I think competing at New Englands will be a great experience for our team."

The New England Cheering Championships will be held on Saturday at the Providence Career and Technical Academy.

Reach sports editor Steven Bassin at 802-447-7567 ext 112 or @SBassin_Banner


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