After being held virtually last year to the COVID-19 pandemic, the regional and state cheerleading competitions will try to return to normal this season.
The Maine Principals Association announced the dates and sites for the regional and state cheerleading competitions, with Saturday, Jan. 29, being the regional competition date in Augusta and Bangor.
Regional competitions will be held at the Augusta Civic Center and the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, with the state championship meet being contested at the Augusta Civic Center on Feb. 12.
The Augusta Civic Center schedule will begin with the Class C South competition at 9 a.m. Class A North will follow at 11:30 a.m. The Class A South teams will start their competition at 2:30 p.m. and capping the day will be Class B South at 5 p.m.
At the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, Class B North starts things off at 9 a.m., Class D North/South follows at 11:30 a.m. and C North concludes the competition beginning at 2:45 p.m.
The top six teams from each regional in Classes A, B and C will fill out the 12-team state championship field, along with the top six from the D North/South regional.
There aren’t enough teams in Class D to have a North and a South regional.
The state championships will be held two weeks later on Saturday, Feb. 12, at the Augusta Civic Center with Classes C and B beginning at 10 a.m. and D and A starting their competitions at 2 p.m.
Last year’s virtual state titlists were Class A Bangor A, Class B Hermon, Monmouth Academy in Class C and Penobscot Valley of Howland in Class D.
In last year’s virtual competition, teams videotaped their routines and sent them off to the judges. Vocalization during the routines was not allowed and the five-point showmanship category was also eliminated.
Bangor dethroned two-time state champ Biddeford by half a point for its second title in four years. Hermon was 3.2 points better than Medomak Valley of Waldoboro to claim its fifth state championship in a row and 10th over the last 11 seasons. Monmouth edged defending champ Sumner of East Sullivan by 1.8 points and Penobscot Valley ended Central Aroostook’s string of seven straight state titles by nine-tenths of a point.
Central Aroostook had won 12 of the last 13 D crowns.