BANGOR, Maine — If the Hermon cheerleading squad was nervous before performing its routine at Saturday’s Class B regional competition, the Hawks were putting on quite the charade.
Coach Kristie Reed’s team stayed loose before being called onto the mat, dancing to the hit song “Stayin’ Alive.”
But once Hermon stepped on the mat, it was all business, and it defended its regional crown with a score of 140 points at the Bangor Auditorium.
“I think we get a little nervous, but it’s good nerves,” said Hawks senior Abbe Curtis, one of three Hermon seniors. “And we’re a really close team, so that helps.”
Ellsworth finished second with 136.9 points, while Presque Isle took third and earned its first trip to the state competition in 10 years.
Caribou, Waterville, and John Bapst of Bangor also qualified for the state championships in Augusta on Feb. 6.
Hermon, the defending state champion, didn’t change too much from its routine after last weekend’s Big East championship.
“We changed some of our basket tosses into something a little more cleaner,” senior Makelle Jarvis said.
The Hawks’ routine featured a lot of hip-hop music and tumbling, high energy and a couple of double-down twists.
“It seems every time we go out it’s the best one we’ve done, and we’re getting better,” said Reed.
The Hawks’ tumbling is certainly getting better, as that’s one of the things they emphasize a lot in their difficult routine.
“We definitely work on that quite a bit, and we work on perfecting tucks and back handsprings,” Curtis said.
Even though Hermon was happy with its regional championship, the Hawks humbly celebrated, accepted their plaque and started thinking about an even bigger prize.
“We’ve come this far, we want to take it all the way,” said senior Cortney Hawes.
Hermon’s other squad members are juniors Meagan Dearborn and Kasey Fratini, sophomores Ashley Cyr, Brianna Savoy, Casie Frederick, Jasmine St. Pierre, Katelyn Lugdon, Kelsey Small and Courtney Applebee and freshmen Catherine Mcelvain, Becca Watson, Destinee Knight and Katie Reynosa.
While Hermon was quietly basking in the glory of its accomplishment, Presque Isle was arguably the happiest team on the mat.
The Wildcats pieced together a high-energy routine featuring difficult stunts, including a double-down twist and high basket tossing.
It was also better than the Big East meet for coach Jolene Kinney’s squad, which was performing its first-round routine when the sound system at Old Town High died.
“At Old Town, that was horrible,” senior Bethany Lord said. “I know it’s been so long since we’ve gone, and I’m so excited to go and represent our school there and everything.”
After the Wildcats were announced as the third-place team, happiness and tears were flowing.
“We worked really hard to build a routine that’s clean and solid and tight,” said Kinney, whose daughter, Jordyn, is on the squad.
The other members are Meghan Boucher, Megan Byers, Kaitlin Calabrese, Naiomi Donovan, Paige Doyen, Brittany Good, Julea Gorneault, Lorraine Hughes, Mackenzie Lamoureux, Courtney Lyford, Gabrielle McCrum, Michaela Powers, Miranda Thompson-Lovely and Bonnie Zeng.