Hermon eager to defend title on Saturday

Posted Feb. 06, 2009, at 1:34 a.m.

HERMON, Maine — The Hermon Hawks will feature a similar look from past meets while somewhat increasing the degree of difficulty in their routine for Saturday’s Class B state cheerleading championships at the Bangor Auditorium.

“We’re keeping everything the same basically but making it a lot better, so hopefully it’ll be a lot different,” said Jody Demmons, one of five Hermon seniors, after a Wednesday practice.

Saturday’s action gets under way with the Classes C and B competitions at 10 a.m., with the presentation of awards at 12:30, followed by the Classes D and A competitions at 2 p.m. with awards at 4:10.

Coach Lisa Pratt’s Hermon squad is three-for-three (Big East, Penobscot Valley Conference, Eastern Maine Class B) in its competitions this winter, and a fourth would award the Hawks the biggest prize of all in a second consecutive Class B state title.

Hermon is working tirelessly to fine-tune its routine.

“We just did our whole routine. We’ve been doing stunting since we got here. We’re just going through it piece by piece trying to get everything right,” said Demmons.

The Hawks’ other seniors are Kayla Pelletier, Rachel Taggert and sisters Kayla and Kyla Whittemore.

Hermon’s routine in the regional championships featured difficult stunting and fierce dancing to a variety of music, including Tina Turner’s hit “Simply the Best.”

“This is the first year we didn’t go with a complete theme of music. We’ve tried to mix it up,” said Pratt.

As sound as those attributes appear to be, Pratt feels that tumbling is one of the Hawks’ strong points.

“I think the big thing with our routine is the tumbling. We do have quite skilled tumblers, the timing has been working really well,” Pratt said.

Demmons feels the pressure of being defending state champions and not knowing too much about the squads in Western Maine aren’t big concerns.

“I think that we just go into every year with a new outlook trying to get everything how it should be and working really hard,” said Demmons. “Our main focus is to go out and try as hard as we can.”

Pratt knows that in a sport that is judged, no squad should be counted out.

“You know what? Class B has always had such tight competition. We’ve always been in the top areas, but we’ve always had someone really close to us,” said Pratt. “We’re going to go out there praying and hoping we’ve got the best routine, and if we hit it, I think we do.”

The rest of the Hawks’ squad is Abbe Curtis, Meagan Dearborn, Casie Frederick, Rayshell Gagne, Courtney Hawes, Makelle Jarvis, Katelyn Lugdon, Mackenzie Reynolds, Brianna Savoy, Kelsey Small and Jasmine St. Pierre.

rmclaughlin@bangordailynews.net

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