VUHS cheerleaders debut in third in D-I

VERGENNES — The host Vergennes Union High School cheerleading team saw its four-year championship streak snapped at Saturday’s state meet, but the Commodore girls still came away with some hardware on their home floor.
The Vermont Principals’ Association reconfigured the divisions this year, consolidating what had been a three-division competition into a two-division meet. That decision meant a move for the four-time defending Division-II champion Commodores into D-I, where they had to do battle with heavyweights Rutland and Essex, who have traded off the D-I crown for years.
Predictably, those teams went one-two this year. with Rutland scoring 198 out of a possible 220 points to win. Essex (180) took second, with VUHS (159) in third and BFA-St. Albans (154) in fourth in the eight-team field.
Still, Coach Deb Hall said she was happy with both the girls’ bronze-medal performance on Saturday.
“They did really well this past weekend. In our first year in Division I to take third was not bad,” Hall said.
The Commodores’ effort also won them the right to perform at the New England competition in Providence, R.I., on March 20, where they will vie at the regional D-IV level.
On this past Saturday in the new Vermont D-II competition, Richford dominated with a 180-point effort, with Poultney in second at 157. Otter Valley was eighth in the nine-team field with 91 points.
On Saturday, the trophies that had been awarded to the top teams in D-I, II and III over the years were also retired and were awarded to the dominant programs in each division over the past decade.
The Commodores’ surge in the past few years made them the easy choice for D-II, and that trophy will be on permanent display at VUHS. Essex won the D-I trophy, and Poultney earned the D-III hardware.
Hall said it was appropriate that the trophies be retired because in other sports the teams who win state titles three times in a row are given the rotating trophy on a permanent basis. And she said that the Commodores’ trophy was “well-deserved” after her teams’ consistent hard work.
“The girls … were thrilled that it is going to sit at out school,” Hall said. “The girls that came before, I think … are going to be thrilled to come to the school and see it there.”

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