BANGOR, Maine — Picking up the spirit and going out and giving your all is what you have to do to succeed when you only have one opportunity to triumph.
That’s what the Hermon Hawks cheerleading team did Saturday as it soared to its third title in three weeks when it captured the Eastern Maine Class B crown at the Bangor Auditorium.
The Hawks turned in another outstanding performance to score an impressive 151.2 points to outdistance runner-up Waterville’s 133.9 after winning the Big East Conference title last week and the Penobscot Valley Conference Big School crown two weeks ago.
Defending EM champion John Bapst finished third with 131.6 points while Central of Corinth (127.8), Ellsworth (124.8) and Caribou (121.7) rounded out the top six finishers that qualified for the state meet on Feb. 7 at the Auditorium.
There was only one chance for each team to perform its routine because there were no callbacks, and the Hawks nailed their routine.
“We didn’t change anything in our routine, so we just picked up the spirit a little and we knew that we were going to go out there and give it our all,” said Hermon senior Kayla Pelletier, who is one of five seniors on the team along with Jodi Demmons, Rachel Taggert, and sisters Kayla Whittemore and Kyla Whittemore.
“So we knew we only had one chance to do it so we decided we wanted to make it the best one we could possibly bring home,” Pelletier added.
Hermon coach Lisa Pratt was pleased with her team’s performance.
“I think the girls really sold it this week. I think they came here really wanting it,” she said. “I think the fans that we have here were a huge part of this. The girls really sold the routine tonight and I was really happy about it.”
The Hawks haven’t made any major changes to their routine since last week’s Big East competition; however, Kasey Fratini did not compete due to a knee injury. This did not faze the Hawks, though, as Kelsey Carmichael stepped in for Fratini and embraced the challenge.
“She came in Thursday night and you never would have known. She didn’t miss a beat and she was fantastic,” Pratt said.
“We didn’t really change anything. We just pulled it together and did our best,” Pelletier added.
Also competing for the Hawks were Abby Curtis, Meagan Dearborn, Casie Frederick, Rayshell Gagne, Courtney Hawes, Makelle Jarvis, Katelyn Lugdon, Mackenzie Reynolds, Briana Savoy, Kelsey Small, and Jasmine St. Pierre.
Waterville finished first in Monday’s Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B competition, scoring a 124, and improved their score by 9.9 points this time around.
“I thought [the girls] had a really good attitude coming into it, and they were really aggressive,” said Waterville coach Carlee Evans.
Evans didn’t see many changes for her team from last week’s competition.
“It’s really the same, just different location,” she said. “The girls see a mat as a mat, so the girls can go anywhere and rock it.”
The East’s top six teams now move on to compete in the state meet with the top six from Western Maine.
“We’re excited about the state competition, we have a lot of work to do,” Evans said.
The order of finish for the other teams in Saturday’s meet was Presque Isle (121), Medomak Valley of Waldoboro (118.4), Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln (106.1), Gardiner (104.6), Mount View of Thorndike (104.1), Foxcroft Academy (103.5), Mount Desert Island (102.4), Erskine Academy of South China (99.9), Old Town (94.2), Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield (93.7) and Winslow (80.6).