The Central High School cheering team competes during the Class C cheering state championship at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor on Saturday. Central won. Terry Farren | BDN Credit: Terry Farren | BDN

BANGOR, Maine — Cristy Strout knew as soon as her Central High School cheering squad completed its routine at Saturday’s Class C state competition that it was an effort worthy of a championship.

“I was the crazy lady in the coaches’ box going nuts,” she said.

Strout went nuts for good reason, as the Red Devils from Corinth captured their first state championship since 2014 but third title in seven years at the Cross Insurance Center.

Central won a tight four-way battle, scoring 72.7 points to edge defending champion Lisbon (71.6), Sumner of East Sullivan (70.1) and Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln (69.3).

“We knew regionals wasn’t our best performance,” said Strout, whose seniorless squad finished second to Mattanawcook Academy at the Class C North regional meet two weeks ago. “We knew coming in we had to beat at least one team if we wanted to come in the top two. These kids dug their heels in and went to work.

“Our stunts finally hit. We haven’t had a competition until today where stunts all hit. Everybody did their job.”

Sacopee Valley of South Hiram scored 67.2 points to finish fifth in the 12-school field.

Central finished second to Lisbon at last year’s state meet, a source of additional motivation entering this year’s meet.

“We were very confident,” said Central cheerleader Jayden Viani. “Even in warmups we knew that we had it. We came out and gave it everything we had and we came out with the win.

“This is the best we’ve performed this year.”

Central had won the Penobscot Valley Conference Classes C-D meet earlier this winter before its runnerup effort at regionals.

“This year was kind of a rocky year,” said Central cheerleader Riese Mansfield. “We started out strong and started to die out but it was definitely hard but we came back.

“The energy today was just consuming. It was crazy how we were all so hyped and excited. It was amazing.”

Members of the Central cheering squad are Kaitlynn Bean, Brianna Butler, Megan Cormier, Emily Cunningham, Maddie Demoranville, Emma Frost, Faith Fugel, Kylie Graham, Cassidy Gray, Megan Hathaway, Anna Helstrom, Whitney Larson, Brooke Lunt, Heather MacNevin, Riese Mansfield, Tabitha McClure, Tiana McDougall, Mary Miller, Montana Pennington, Jaeden Viani and Danielle Williams. Strout and Whitney Susee are the Red Devils’ coaches.

Mattanawcook Academy in the North and Lisbon in the South were awarded the Class C cheering sportsmanship banners.

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Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...