The Hermon High School Hawks have dominated Class B cheerleading in recent years.
The Hawks will enter Saturday’s state championship competition at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor looking for their seventh state title in eight years and second straight.
Rival Old Town captured the 2016 title.
Hermon won the Class B North regional competition by 4.1 points over Ellsworth on Jan. 27 and head coach Kristie Reed has a youthful but talented team.
“The team is very skillful but we’re very young. We have only six upperclassmen and 15 freshmen and sophomores,” Reed said. “But we’re building in confidence week by week.”
She also said there is good team chemistry.
“The girls seem to really like each other,” said Reed. “The young girls have been very respectful to the upperclassmen.”
She was pleased with their performance at the regional, saying “we were pretty strong.
“One group missed part of a stunt in the beginning but the other stunts were solid and I felt good about their performance,” said Reed noting that the freshmen were performing at the Cross Insurance Center for the first time.
Cameron Pierce, Kate Fergola and Laura Zenk are the tri-captains.
Reed said Ellsworth and Medomak Valley of Waldoboro will be among the other top contenders.
“They’re very good teams. Ellsworth has been there right along. They’re a good, skilled team. And Medomak Valley has always been very strong and they’re coming off a win in the Southern regional,” she said.
The Class B and C competitions kick off Saturday’s activity at 10 a.m. with the D competition leading off the afternoon activity at 2 p.m. followed by the Class A showdown.
Medomak Valley, coached by Heather Simmons, won the Class B South title by 9.4 points over Gray-New Gloucester.
Besides Hermon, Ellsworth, Medomak Valley and Gray-New Gloucester, the other Class B schools will be Mount Desert Island, Old Town, Leavitt of Turner, Morse of Bath, Mountain Valley of Rumford, Gardiner, Erskine Academy of South China and Spruce Mountain of Jay.
Coach Lysa Laverdiere’s defending three-time Class A state champion Lewiston High School Blue Devils were nipped by Bangor at the regionals by 1.6 points setting up an intriguing matchup on Saturday.
Bangor, under co-coaches Stephanie Crane and Kate Robichaud, is looking for its first ever state title.
Besides Bangor and Lewiston, the other teams from the North will be Oxford Hills, Brewer, Lawrence of Fairfield and Mt. Blue of Farmington. The South contingent will be led by regional titlist Biddeford. The other South representatives will be Noble of North Berwick, which finished 2.7 points behind Biddeford in second, Gorham, Sanford, Westbrook and Thornton Academy of Saco.
Lewiston has won six of the last seven state crowns with Biddeford capturing the 2014 crown. Biddeford had a three-year run as state champs (08-10).
Lisbon is the defending state winner in Class C and won the South title by 12.2 points over Sacopee Valley of South Hiram. Lisbon has won two of the last three state championships.
Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln was the North winner by 1.8 points over Central of Corinth.
Central captured state crowns in 2012 and 2014.
Joining Lisbon, Sacopee Valley, Mattanawcook Academy and Central in the Class C field will be North teams Sumner of East Sullivan, Houlton, Calais and Orono and South representatives Monmouth Academy, Wiscasset, Dirigo of Dixfield and Boothbay Regional.
Coach Heidi Sullivan’s Penobscot Valley Howlers of Howland topped four-time state champ Central Aroostook of Mars Hill by 10.2 points in the regional, which is for both North and South schools due to a lack of teams.
Central Aroostook, coached by Sami Jo Allen, has won nine of the last 10 state championships.
Besides PVHS and Central Aroostook, the other four teams will be Machias, Bangor Christian, Deer Isle-Stonington and Woodland of Baileyville.
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