AUGUSTA, Maine — Dezerae Peabody couldn’t help but peek through the curtain to catch a glimpse of what figured to be the biggest threat to Hermon High School’s stranglehold on the Class B cheering state championship Saturday.
She was impressed with what she saw from Medomak Valley High School, the five-time reigning Western Maine Class B title holder.
“I tried not to watch because it makes me even more nervous,” said Peabody, one of six seniors competing in the 2015 state competition at the Augusta Civic Center. “But they did really well.”
That left Hermon needing to elevate its execution and the Hawks did just that, scoring 149.5 points in the final performance of the competition to edge Medomak Valley of Waldoboro by 3.7 points and win its fifth consecutive state crown.
“For the most part we were right on,” said Hermon coach Kristie Reed. “Our timing was good, and all those technical pieces came together today. I have a big group of seniors and a great group of kids, so I’m very proud of them.
“Obviously it’s nice to win, but I’d have been proud of them either way.”
Not only did Hermon extend its streak of consecutive titles, the Hawks now have won six state crowns in the last seven years and seven state championships in the last nine winters.
“There was definitely pressure on us because our whole theme this year was ‘Strive for Five’ state championships,” said Peabody. “That definitely comes down on you a couple of seconds before you’re about to walk out onto the mat.”
The Hawks topped their Eastern B regional-winning score by 8.5 points in outlasting a determined Medomak Valley squad.
“Today we really pushed ourselves and gave it our all,” said Peabody. “We decided to leave everything on the floor. We wanted this more than anything and I think we did the best we’ve done all season.”
Other members of the Hermon team are Emily Austin, McKenna Baker, Marisa Cox, Alyssa Cyr, Baylie Dalton, Danielle Dennison, Olivia Guiggey, Karissa Hatch, Lexey McManus, Cammie Peirce, Emily Perley, Sarah Perley, Nicole Petersen, Katrina Smith, Tiffany Tanner, Calli Veillette, Emily Woodilla and Laura Zenk.
Medomak Valley finished with 145.8 points, while Ellsworth (141.2), Leavitt of Turner Center (128.2) and Gardiner (124.9) rounded out the top five in the 12-school competition.
Old Town was sixth with 122.7 points, followed by Wells (119), Presque Isle (118.6), John Bapst of Bangor (116.3), Gray-New Gloucester (109.1), Lake Region of Naples (102.2) and Morse of Bath (99).
Medomak Valley, also the state runner-up in 2013 and 2014, improved its state-meet score by 12.7 points over its regional performance two weeks ago in an effort to dethrone Hermon.
“We asked our team to be perfect and they were today,” said Medomak Valley coach Heather Simmons. “We’ve been working toward that every competition just to get better and better, and they executed everything we asked them to so we leave here with our heads held high. We can’t expect any more from our kids than perfect.”
Members of the Medomak Valley squad are Cassie Dever, Devan Dupuis, Courtney Ducharme, Taylor Griffin, Stephanie Hill, Ashley Kenniston, Megan Libby, Megan Linscott, Rebekah Marks, Shania Melvin, Samantha Pelkey, Amanda Poland, Gabrielle Ruano, Gage Ruano, Paige Russell, Olivia Ryan, Hannah Smith, Adrianna Wadsworth, Casey Wagner, Ashlee Wilson and Megan Wright.