BANGOR, Maine — The Hermon High School cheering squad has had relatively few disappointments during a recent run of success highlighted by six Class B state championships in the last seven years.
But the Hawks are not infallible, as a botched pyramid during the recent Big East Conference championship meet proved.
That mishap may turn out to be bad news for Hermon’s competition during the remainder of the season.
Coach Kristie Reed’s club first rebounded to capture the Penobscot Valley Conference Class B title, then showed more championship form Saturday by winning the 15-school Class B North competition at the Cross Insurance Center.
The Hawks shook off a slight hiccup on the first stunt of their three-minute routine to score a season-high 85.5 points and defeat second-place Ellsworth (81.4).
“The first stunt hit at the end just like it should have,” said Hermon senior Cameron Peirce, “and everyone worked really hard through the entire routine. We were strong today.”
Hermon and Ellsworth earned berths in the Class B state championship meet to be held Feb. 10 at the Cross Insurance Center along with Old Town (75.9), Mount Desert Island of Bar Harbor (65.9), Gardiner (62.9) and Erskine Academy of South China (57.5).
Other teams in the regional field were Presque Isle (55.4), John Bapst of Bangor (54.8), Foxcroft Academy (54.3), Mount View of Thorndike (51.1), Caribou (50), Nokomis of Newport (49.4), Washington Academy of East Machias (48.6), Winslow (47.2) and Waterville (47.1).
Hermon’s roster features 14 freshmen and sophomores, and the missed pyramid at the Big East competition — where Ellsworth won with 73.7 points compared to the runner-up Hawks’ 60.7 — provided the younger performers an early season dose of competitive reality.
“Every team has their weekends,” said Hermon senior Laura Zenk. “Everyone comes out and does their best but some weekends things just happen. We were super excited, but it was definitely a rough weekend.
“We have an extremely young team and what we’re really trying to put in their heads is that everything counts. Every little motion, every jump, every stunt, it all counts.”
The Hawks believe that early setback already has provided a valuable lesson learned as the team pursues another state championship.
“The feeling they had at the end of that (Big East) competition, I just told them to hold onto it and let that be motivation so that it doesn’t happen again,” said Reed. “They used that today.”
Team members for the Hawks are Peirce, Zenk, Jasmine Boulier, Brooklyn Brown, Jenika Buck, Triunity Butler, Kalley Curry, Cali Cyr, Mercedes Davis, Ashley Dunphy, Kate Fergola, Mia Foley, Jazmin Landry, Kristen Lusignan, Hannah Morin, Olivia Nash, Krista Newcomb, Jillian Shorey, Leah Thibault Myatt, Emily Wiley and Torria Wittmer. Coaches are Reed and Christina Paradis.