AUGUSTA — The first state titles of the 2021-22 winter sports season were handed out Saturday at the Maine State Cheering Championships at the Augusta Civic Center.

In the afternoon session, Lewiston won its first Class A title since 2017. Last year’s champion, Bangor, finished as runner-up, followed by Biddeford and Oxford Hills.

The top four teams in each class are eligible to compete at the New England championships March 19 in Connecticut.

“We set a goal to win this year, we knew that was going to be challenging,” Lewiston Coach Matt Hanley said. “We did it. To put your eyes on a prize at the start of a season and keep pushing through all of the COVID issues and injuries. To have people quit on them, team members change and people on the floor (for routines) change, and still keep pushing and pull it off in the end has been very rewarding.”

The Blue Devils needed to perform a near-perfect routine to beat their challengers.

“I’ve been coaching for a long time, and I was never more confident in a team than this one,” Hanley said. “Last night, I didn’t lose any sleep, because we’d come in and keep hitting and hitting and hitting (the routine) and doing what they need to do. They had me feeling confident for today. I knew they were going to hit it and do their job, and they did that.”


It was the first state cheerleading meet in front of a crowd in two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic. A virtual meet was held last year, with teams taping their routines and sending video to judges.

Monmouth/Winthrop captured the Class D title. The Mustangs won Class C last year during the virtual championships.

“Two times in a row, during senior year finishing it off strong,” said Monmouth senior Jake Umberhind. “After such a hard year last year, having no one watch us, publicly. This year, having everyone cheer us on, it’s been amazing.”

“We were pretty confident,” Monmouth senior Kyleigh Gowell said. “Practices have been pretty solid, with us hitting everything. We were pretty confident coming in.”

Bangor Christian was the runner-up in Class D, followed by Central Aroostook and Penquis.

During the morning session, Medomak Valley won the Class B championship, the first state title for the Panthers, while Lisbon earned the Class C title.


“It’s been a long effort,” Medomak Coach Heather Simmons said. “We’ve been coaching since 2009, bringing the program from finishing dead last the year before we took over, and it’s been just a long process. We’re just so thankful that we have the kids, the parents, the administrators that support us and our philosophies.”

Medomak performed a near-flawless routine.

“We knew that we had a difficult routine, and you just hope it’s your day to be flawless,” Simmons said. “We were perfect today, and that’s your most important thing, put your perfect (performance) out there and have someone beat it. Today, no one did.”

Hermon was the Class B runner-up, followed by Ellsworth and John Bapst.

Lisbon captured its fourth Class C title, its first since 2019.

“It feels great (to win), it feels great,” Lisbon senior Grace Bailey said. “I think this is the most prepared we’ve ever been in our routine. This year, we really came together as a family. All we have to do is hit (the routine) and believe in each other.”


“We tried our hardest and that’s all that we can do,” Lisbon senior Annika Golino said. “It’s been rough for the past two years with COVID and going virtual (last year), a lot of seniors graduating. We went from a 20-(person) team to a 10-(person) team. It’s been very hard. But we did our best.”

Dexter was the Class C runner-up, followed by Mattanawcook and Winslow.

The Augusta Civic Center was packed, with fans near the rafters of one side of the bleachers, while the teams were on the other side of the arena. Both coaches and fans were thankful to have performances in front of fans again.

“It’s absolutely amazing,” Lisbon Coach Nicole Adams said. “It was such a sterile feeling last year, just having an athletic director, a coach and a video camera (in the gym for the routine). To finally have your parents here, your friends cheering you on, that’s what cheering is. We feed off that energy.”

“It was pretty good,” Golino said. “Just to see the judges and feel the people cheer and yell for you, it’s amazing.”

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