The Hermon Hawks took first place in the class B north regional cheering competition at the Cross Insurance Center in January 2020. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

As cheer squads around the state videotape their routines this week to submit for the 2021 state championship competition, times have been announced for the livestream of the virtual meet on Saturday, March 27.

Performances from schools representing all four classes and the announcement of results will be streamed by the NFHS Network, with Class D starting at 10 a.m. followed by Class A at noon, Class C at 2 p.m. and Class B at 4 p.m.

State championship performances are to be recorded either this Wednesday or Thursday.

Each school’s athletic administrator was to be emailed a template with a code word to be incorporated into the team’s competition video to verify that it was taped in a single attempt on the designated day, with the athletic administrator, coach and senior captains also signing off to that effect.

Defending champions from 2020 are Biddeford in Class A, Hermon in Class B, Sumner of East Sullivan in Class C and Central Aroostook in Class D.

Bangor, which won the recent Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A title, hopes to contend for its first Class A state crown since 2018 with two-time defending state champion Biddeford, Oxford Hills of South Paris and Scarborough also expected to challenge for top honors.

Hermon is the four-time defending Class B state champion and has won the state crown nine times in the last 11 seasons.

The Hawks recently captured the Penobscot Valley Conference Class B championship ahead of runner-up Ellsworth, and those two rivals figure to be among the top contenders at states along with recent Western Maine Conference champion Freeport and runner-up Gray-New Gloucester.

Sumner captured its first state title since 2010 last winter, and the Tigers should be back in the championship mix this year after finishing second behind Central of Corinth at the virtual PVC Class C championships.

Central, winner of three state championships in the last nine years including the 2018 title, is another top threat in the Class C competition along with recent Mountain Valley Conference champion Monmouth Academy and second-place Lisbon, a state champion in 2015, 2017 and 2019.

Central Aroostook has dominated the Class D cheering scene, with a current streak of seven consecutive state championships and 12 titles in the last 13 years.

The Panthers figure to be strong again after winning their second straight Aroostook League crown. Other challengers at the Class D states could include 2020 runner-up Penobscot Valley of Howland and Bangor Christian, which placed second behind PVHS in this year’s PVC Class D virtual event.

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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...