Lewiston edges Bangor for Eastern Maine Class A cheering title

Bangor High School's Mattea Hamel cheers before the crowd at the Eastern Maine Class A championships Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center.
Terry Farren
Bangor High School's Mattea Hamel cheers before the crowd at the Eastern Maine Class A championships Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center.
Posted Jan. 25, 2014, at 7:10 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 25, 2014, at 11:17 p.m.
Hampden Academy cheerleaders perform during the Eastern Maine Class A championships Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center.
Terry Farren
Hampden Academy cheerleaders perform during the Eastern Maine Class A championships Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center.
Brewer High School's Breannah Geiser cheers with the team at the Eastern Maine Class A championships Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center.
Terry Farren
Brewer High School's Breannah Geiser cheers with the team at the Eastern Maine Class A championships Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center.
Hampden Academy's Mikayla Becker cheers during the Eastern Maine Class A championships Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center.
Terry Farren
Hampden Academy's Mikayla Becker cheers during the Eastern Maine Class A championships Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center.
Karen Bate-Pelletier of Lewiston cheers on her team during the Eastern Maine Class A championships Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center.
Terry Farren
Karen Bate-Pelletier of Lewiston cheers on her team during the Eastern Maine Class A championships Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center.
Lewiston High School's Abby Madden cheers before a large crowd at the Eastern Maine Class A championships at the Augusta Civic Center on Saturday.
Terry Farren
Lewiston High School's Abby Madden cheers before a large crowd at the Eastern Maine Class A championships at the Augusta Civic Center on Saturday.

AUGUSTA — It wasn’t perfect, or even close.

In the current throw-caution-to-the-wind climate of Class A East cheering, a championship performance doesn’t have to meet that standard.

And even though Lynnette Morency and her Lewiston High School powerhouse admittedly helped create that atmosphere, the coach isn’t sure how she feels about it.

“A lot of people are stepping up their stunting skills, I don’t want to say to do what we do, but to up their degree of difficulty. It’s taking its effect on everyone,” Morency said. “It’s who drops the least amount of stunts and keeps their energy up. That’s what it’s coming down to, and that’s really sad. State champions shouldn’t be dropping stunts. Nobody should be winning a state title with dropped stunts.”

Perhaps, but clearly you can survive a few foibles and flaws and still wear the regional crown. Convincingly, if you’re the Blue Devils, who won their fifth consecutive Eastern Maine championship Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center.

Biddeford (Class A West), Medomak Valley of Waldoboro (Class B West) and Madison (Class C West) also took home regional titles from the 11-hour showcase.

Lewiston had two notable drops and a touchdown that cost points against the maximum total of 175. After deductions, the Devils’ score of 147.9 actually was lower than the 148.3 that won the KVAC championship in this auditorium five days earlier.

Runner-up Bangor (141) suffered the same fate, however. The Devils’ winning margin grew by more than two points from the conference meet.

“I think we had more energy today. I feel like we did,” Lewiston co-captain Abby Madden said. “We did drop stunts, but were able to pick it back up.”

Cheering’s weighted score sheet rewards teams whose stunts and tumbling passes are more intricate than others, essentially starting those teams with a higher base total. For years, most Lewiston opponents have known from the start that they had no chance to outscore the Devils.

That isn’t a money-in-the-bank detail that the champions wish to rely on. Not in an environment in which the Devils are competing not only their own exorbitant expectations but traditionally tough Bangor.

“They had their bobbles. We had our falls,” Morency said. “We had a tumbling touchdown. They had a couple of tumbling touchdowns. Degree of difficulty is carrying us over right now. The energy is negated by the dropped stunts.”

Both teams are relatively young. Bangor, led by Oxford Hills graduate Kate Robichaud, has five seniors. Lewiston has four, and freshmen and sophomores comprise two-thirds of the roster.

“There is a lot more pressure this year,” Lewiston co-captain Cassie Regner said. “I guess it’s adding up.”

Brewer, the only team in the Class A top six without penalty point deductions, was a solid third at 129.8, one spot ahead of Hampden (114.2).

Oxford Hills of South Paris (110.4) and Edward Little of Auburn (108.2) finished fifth and sixth, respectively, also qualifying for Class A states.

In Class B West, Leavitt was runner-up to Medomak Valley for the second time in four years.

Medomak, a team without any seniors, won its fourth straight regional with a score of 130.7. Leavitt checked in at 128.2. The Panthers and Hornets were second and third, respectively, in the KVAC meet behind Gardiner, which competes in the East.

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