In reality, Medomak Valley annually proves it has one of the best high school cheering programs in Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B.

Virtually, the Panthers also proved that is true.

Medomak Valley of Waldoboro finished first in the 2021 league virtual championship meet.

Waldo County squads Mount View of Thorndike and Belfast finished 11th and 12th, respectively.

The judging date was Saturday, March 6.

Teams submitted videos of their routines that were later judged.

The final team scores, with the individual scores of the three judges, deductions and total scores listed, were: Medomak Valley, 20.5, 22.2 and 18.1 for 60.8; Morse of Bath, 14.7, 20.8 and 18.9 for 54.4; Leavitt of Turner, 19.6, 19.5 and 14.9 (with 1-point deduction) for 53; Nokomis of Newport, 15.5, 18 and 14.2 for 47.7; Mount Blue of Farmington, 14, 15.3 and 14.5 for 43.8; Winslow, 12.3, 14.6 and 14.9 for 41.8; Erskine Academy of South China, 11, 17.4 and 12.5 for 40.9; Lawrence of Fairfield, 12.2, 15.4 and 12.8 for 40.4; Gardiner, 10.5, 12.5 and 10.5 for 33.5; Lincoln Academy of Newcastle, 12.8, 12.8 and 10.1 (with 3-point deduction) for 32.7; Mount View, 9.3, 7.5 and 12.4 for 29.2; and Belfast, 9.1, 6.5 and 6.7 for 22.3.

The Panthers were a close second in the league meet in 2020 and third at the state championships.

Previous to 2020, Medomak Valley had won five straight league crowns and seven since 2011.

Additionally, the Panthers have won 10 straight regional crowns.

Team members for Medomak Valley, led by coach Heather Simmons, include Alyssa Grindle, Braelyn Hood, Hope Mason, Sami Richardson, Acadia Dinsmore, Katrina McIntosh, Aaliyah Thompson, Skylah Ward, Emily Mahoney, Lizzi Swan, Greg Cifaldo and Chloe Achorn.

Team members for Belfast, led by coach Chelsea Howard, include Marina Bannister, Daisy Bradney, Gemma Bradney, Taytem Condon, Sierra Davis-Demmons, Annabelle Lisa, Maddie Mailloux, Hailey Richards, John Skillings and Tisha Stoltz.

Team members for Mount View, led by coach Carol Bryant, include Alexa Coffin, Sabryna Bailey, Jensen Aspinall, Ethan Bryant, Desirae Brown, Emma McPherson, Sydney Bishop, Shoshabba Dallal, Onna Queener, Faith Lawler, Eliana Rumney, Jasmyne Nerderman and Marissa Withee.

"It felt like a huge accomplishment because of everything that’s been going on this year,” said Mahoney. “And it was very nice we were able to pull together as a team and pull off another win.”

Cifaldo said, "It was really uplifting and nice to win this year."

“This year was difficult with the restrictions and the masks obviously, but it was equally exciting,” he said.

The young Lions, who only recently returned to team competition, did not have the required full set of mats to perform their routine. Thus, the Lions traveled to medomak Valley in Waldoboro and "graciously coordinated time for us to use their mats/gym," said Howard.

"It has been difficult to pull off a routine under these circumstances but I’m very proud of these kids for adapting and remaining optimistic," she said.

"This year absolutely presented new challenges, but we were proud to have our season and the team has become pros at adapting," said Bryant. "We set a goal for it to be a fun, encouraging season [and] to skill build and bond with some new team members. I'm very proud of every athlete, they have worked hard this season. We have some very easy tweaks to make and look forward to states."

Courier Publications' sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com or by phone at 594-4401.