The Hermon High School cheerleading team continued its dominance of Class B on Saturday as it racked up its fifth straight state championship, it’s 10th in 11 years.
Coach Kristie Reed’s Hawks posted a score of 64.4 points to outdistance Medomak Valley of Waldoboro by 3.2 points in the virtual competition.
Freeport (56.8), Leavitt of Turner (54.75) and Morse of Bath (53.9) rounded out the top five and completing the top 10 among the 20-team field were Ellsworth (51.4), Nokomis High of Newport (49), Erskine Academy of South China (44.7), John Bapst of Bangor (44.6) and Lawrence of Fairfield (43.8).
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the Maine Principals Association competitions to be held virtually. Teams had one chance to perform and record their routines earlier in the week and submit them. They were judged and then the performances were livestreamed and the results revealed on Saturday.
In Class C, Monmouth Academy annexed the school’s first cheerleading state championship since 2002 and became the fourth different winner in four years. Coach Brandon Ouellette’s squad registered a score of 50.7 points to overcome defending champ Sumner of East Sullivan (48.9).
Monmouth Academy finished third a year ago.
Three more teams from northern Maine rounded out the top five. Calais was third in the 19-team field with 47.6 points, followed by Central of Corinth (43.5) and Houlton (42).
Completing the top 10 were Winslow (41.5), Dexter (41.2), Lisbon (40.5), Sacopee Valley of South Hiram (39.4) and Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln (38.6).
Lisbon took home the state title in 2019, one year after Central had claimed the title.
There were three portions of the normal routine eliminated because of coronavirus concerns: vocal performance, pyramids and the five-point showmanship category. That meant the maximum high score was 75 points instead of 100.
Sumner was seeking to become the first back-to-back Class C champ since Washington Academy of East Machias triumphed in 2007 and 2008.
Monmouth Academy had won seven state championships in Class D during an eight-year span in before moving up to Class C in 2002 and claiming the C crown that year.
In the B meet, Reed said her team turned in a better performance than it had in winning the Penobscot Valley Conference Class B title.
“It was truly our best performance of the season. We were very happy with it,” Reed said. “We made a few mistakes at the PVC meet, stunting wise. So you always take the scoresheets and get the feedback.
“It’s always good for the kids to hear it from the judges and officials instead of coaches. It helps motivate them to fix what they need to fix,” Reed said.
Sophomore Lyndsee Reed, Kristie’s daughter, said the Hawks knew they had to get better after the PVC meet and focused on the little things.
“We felt confident after we did [the routine],” Lyndsee Reed said. “We knew it was our best one of the season. We were kind of relieved after that.”
Coach Reed said Hermon tweaked its routine during the season, eliminating some elements to clean up their performance.
“We started with some things that were a little more difficult than what we ended with because we didn’t feel we were doing them well enough to perform them,” coach Reed said.
The Hawks had a nice blend of newcomers and veterans, including some freshmen who stepped up and did well.
Hermon’s returnees were Alanna Berube, Jasmine Boulier, Kalley Curry, Cali Cyr, Madison Despault, Megan Dorr, Hailey Gogan, Madison Higgins, Alexis Raymond, Madison Smith, Torria Wittmer, Riley Perry and Reed.
The newcomers included Nevaeh Kenney, Leah Skinner, Saige Lang and Abi Sinclair.
Coach Reed said the one complaint her team members made was that they weren’t able to get tested by doing their routine under pressure in front of live fans and judges.
Instead, coach Reed implemented wrinkles to help replicate a normal meet environment, including having parents watch practices via Zoom and having the athletes wear their cheering uniforms during practice.