Stephanie Crane, the co-head coach of the Bangor High School cheerleading squad, said they learned something from rival Lewiston High School at the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A cheering competition recently.
Lewiston edged out the Rams 84-82.4.
“Lewiston owned (the mat),” explained Crane. “They exaggerated all of their moves. They performed. They were fun to watch.”
So that was the message to her team and they got the message loud and clear as the Rams captured the Class A North Regional Championship by 1.7 points at the Augusta Civic Center on Saturday.
Bangor tallied 91.9 points to lead the pack of six teams that qualified for the Class A state championships on Feb. 10 at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.
Defending three-time Class A state champ Lewiston racked up 90.3 points followed by Oxford Hills of South Paris (78.9), Brewer (74), Lawrence of Fairfield (65.9) and Mt. Blue Farmington (63.1).
The other competitors were Hampden Academy (59.8), Edward Little of Auburn (55.3), Mt. Ararat of Topsham (50.2), Cony of Augusta (49.4) and Skowhegan (46.2).
“We had a good performance at the KVACs but we were flat to watch. We were almost boring,” said Crane. “So what we stressed all week was that we had to perform.
“And it was a completely different story. They pumped themselves up so much. They wanted it so badly,” said Crane. “Everything they did was on point.”
Crane said they stuck their stunts and were clean.
“Our most difficult stunt is at the start of the routine and when they hit that, we breathed a sigh of relief,” said Crane, who coaches with Kate Robichaud. “The rest is easy.”
Bangor’s team members include Emily Chappelle, Rebecca Chappelle, Madison Clay, Kenzie Crichton, Kayla Crossman, Hannah Dunn, Hailey Fournier, Olivia Heanssler, Ella Henry, Sydney Latlippe, Kylie Lavoie, Grace McAuliffe, Samantha McNaughton, Hailey Miles, Hope Ouellette, Alainna Roach, Kelsey White and Chloe Woodward.
Lewiston, which has won six state titles in the last seven years, is coached by Lysa Laverdiere. Team members are Narliyana Aspilaire, Bryanna Bagnato, Maggie Belleau, Isabelle Dube, Megan Gaudette, Skylar Gelinas, Jordan Girouard, Kloe Gizinski, Sydney Hill, Elizabeth Homan, Katelyn Ingerson, Marissa Larock, Katherine Lavallee, Abigail Levasseur, Maraeka Merchant, Kali Monteiro, Madelynn Morgan, Jillian Pelletier, Kyra Physic, Grace Porter, Maddie Regner, Kaylyn Ritchie, Nicholas Roy and Shelby Rucker.
Brewer, coached by Nancy Snowdeal, features Faith Allen, Lily Canders, Caroline Collins, Cecilia and Laura Ford, Lauren Forrest, Kaitlyn Glidden, Jessica Hart, Jared Hoxie, Cassie Knowles, Morgan Lagasse, Abby Lawrence, Courtney Melvin, Taylor Pelkey, Lauren Richardson, Ariel Rosario and Sophie Veinote.