Hermon High School's Kate Fergola performs with the team during the Class B cheering state championships at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor Saturday. Hermon went on to win the title. Terry Farren | BDN Credit: Terry Farren | BDN

BANGOR, Maine — With success in sports often comes increased expectations, a reality that evokes both pressure and confidence for the competitors.

“It is a little bit of both,” said Hermon High School cheerleader Cami Peirce, whose team entered Saturday’s Class B state championship meet as the defending title holder.

“We want to show people what Hermon cheering’s all about and we want to prove to everybody what we can do, but, yeah, we definitely feel the nerves with everyone watching us and having their eyes on us. It’s a pretty crazy feeling.”

It may have been a crazy feeling for the Hawks, but it surely wasn’t unnerving as Hermon cruised to its eighth state championship overall and seventh in the last eight years at the Cross Insurance Center with a comfortable six-point victory over runnerup Ellsworth.

“Today’s performance is by far the best one we’ve done,” said Peirce, one of just three seniors on the 21-member Hermon roster. “We were so prepared today, we were really ready. We knew what the stakes were and we put all of our effort and motivation into this and we came out on top.”

Hermon began its three-minute routine with a crisp tumbling exhibition and remained largely error-free throughout the performance to finish with a winning score of 83.5.

“They hit their routine better than they had,” said Hermon coach Kristie Reed. “We knew we had a little bit more difficulty than the teams we were up against so we knew we had to hit it, but they were very confident today and I was proud of them.”

Ellsworth, which defeated Hermon at the Big East Conference championship meet earlier this winter, followed up subsequent second-place finishes to the Hawks in the Penobscot Valley Conference and Class B North competition with a solid second-place showing at states.

The Eagles finished with 77.5 points.

“They had the best performance they’ve had all year,” said Eagles co-coach Melanie Omlor-Fox, whose team like Hermon will graduate just three seniors. “They were very solid, very confident. They have worked hard on their skills and we couldn’t be happier with how they performed today.”

Class B South champion Medomak Valley of Waldoboro was third among the 12 competing teams with 77.3 points, with Old Town (72.8) and Gray-New Gloucester (64.4) rounding out the top five.

Members of the championship Hermon team are Peirce, Jasmine Boulier, Brooklyn Brown, Jenika Buck, Trinity Butler, Kalley Curry, Cali Cyr, Mercedes Davis, Ashley Dunphy, Kate Fergola, Mia Foley, Jazmin Landry, Kristen Lusignan, Hannah Morin, Olivia Nash, Krista Newcomb, Jillian Shorey, Leah Thibault Myatt, Emily Wiley, Torria Wittmer and Laura Zenk. Coaches are Reed and Christina Paradis.

Representing the runner-up Ellsworth squad are Lindsay Bland, Anna Brown, Brooke Carver, Allison Dorr, Tanner Hardison, Amelia Hayden, Hailey McCabe, Maya McCabe, Kristen Omlor, Bailey Peterson, Alexis Rossi, Kerrigan Shorey and Emily Whitney. Coaches are Omlor-Fox and Kat Dickens.

Winners of the Class B sportsmanship awards were Waterville in the North and Spruce Mountain of Jay-Livermore Falls in the South.

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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...