Thornton Academy cheerleading traces its roots to the fall of 1938 when teacher
Harriet Desmond offered the first fall program. During that season, the cheerleading squad
supported the Thornton Academy football team by providing sideline cheers and adding to
the overall school spirit at home games played on the site of the Rite Aid (located on the
east side of Main Street). This was the home of fall cheerleading until football games
debuted at Hill Stadium in the September of 1980.

Today Thornton Academy fall cheerleading holds true to its original form. The
Golden Trojan squad cheers at all home and away varsity football games and continues its
longtime traditions of creating “candy bags” for football players and coaches. The dances
and cheers performed by the team are not unlike those that have been used for decades. A
Thornton Academy touchdown, for example, is accompanied by the traditional T-H-O-R-N-
T-O-N cheer to the beat of the pep band’s drums. Thornton Academy also sponsors a fall
junior varsity team that follows the home schedule of the Golden Trojans junior varsity

Thornton Academy also offers a cheerleading program during the winter season as
well. Since the 1955-1956 season, Golden Trojan winter cheerleading squads have
performed at regular season home and playoff basketball games. Today the program
cheers on the efforts of both the boys and girls programs.

The winter cheerleading program also includes a competition element that was
initiated by the Maine Principals’ Association (MPA) in 1987. Competition cheerleading
incorporates a number of elements, including gymnastics, dance, and sideline cheer, into a
three-minute choreographed routine. The Thornton Academy competition cheerleading
team competes in a number of invitational events (such as the Maine Cheerleading Coaches
Association competition and Cheers from the Heart), the SMAA league championships, and
the Class A South regional meet. The top six teams in the regional competition qualify for
the Class A state championships held at the Augusta Civic Center and Cross Insurance
Center (Bangor) in alternate years. The junior varsity squad also supports junior varsity
basketball games and participates in several competitions during the winter season.
Thornton Academy cheerleading has been consistently competitive in recent years
at the conference and regional levels. The Golden Trojans won the Southwestern Maine
Activities Association championship in 2019 and were league runners-up in 2017.
Thornton has qualified for the Class A state championships on seventeen occasions,
including fifteen of the last seventeen seasons. In 2018 the program earned its first
appearance at the New England Interscholastic Championships. Led by Coach Kayla
Downing, the 2023 Thornton Academy squad was Class A South Regional Runner-up.
All practices and take place at Linnell Gymnasium. There are tryouts for selection to
the varsity and junior varsity squads. Separate tryout processes take place during the fall
and winter seasons.

Fall – Fall Cheerleading
Winter – Winter (Competition) Cheerleading

2023-2024 Opening Dates:
Fall – August 14
Winter – November 20

Fall – Varsity, Junior Varsity
Winter – Varsity, Junior Varsity

Varsity Coach:
Kayla Downing

Junior Varsity Coach: To Be Announced