Not only did Lisbon perform last among the two dozen teams competing at Saturday’s Class B and C state cheerleading championships, it had to endure an agonizingly long wait in the wings just before it took center stage at the Augusta Civic Center.

“It was very nerve-wracking,” said Olivia Clark, Lisbon’s lone senior. “We were trying to stay calm, just trying to keep our nerves down as much as we could.”

“We knew we could do this,” she added. “We knew we had it. We just had to hit everything we know we could do, so we had no fear going into it.”

Lisbon showed no fear and made it worth the wait with a state championship performance, collecting its second Class C title in three years and third in the last five.

The Greyhounds won three of the four judges to finish with 72.6 points. Sacopee Valley (71.1) finished in second to earn its first hardware in state cheering competition, while Central (68.6), Sumner (68.2) and Mattanawcook (67.5) rounded out the top five.

Also on Saturday, Hermon won its third consecutive Class B state crown and eighth in the last nine years.

The delay between their predecessor and the Greyhounds’ day-ending routine was long enough (about four minutes) for coach Nicole Adams to come down from the stands to reassure her young team.

“I am not going to lie, last is the most stressful position,” said Adams, whose squad also picked up the C South sportsmanship banner. “It was very, very nerve-wracking. I came back down to talk to them, give them a little pep talk and get them back on track.”

Adams reminded the Greyhounds to keep thinking their best routine of the season was their next one.

“We have the same mindset going into every competition,” Adams said, “just improve on the last one.”

That they did after winning Class C South two weeks ago with a score of 70.2. Adams said it was the product of the younger competitors becoming more comfortable on the mat while simultaneously making the routine more challenging.

“We really wanted to up our difficulty,” Clark said. “We made it as hard as we could while still making it clean. We really put our best effort into it.”

Sacopee Valley also bumped its difficulty up a notch to make school history.

“We decided to up or difficulty and our stunts and do some things that haven’t been seen a lot in this division, and it paid off,” Hawks coach Renee Roy said. “We were constantly adjusting things to make it better. We aimed to score at least five points higher than we did (at regionals) and it worked.”

“The last couple of weeks were really difficult, a lot of yelling and tears,” senior captain Sierra Miller said. “We always end up pulling it out at the last minute. (Friday) night was a tough practice, and today we really pulled it off.”

There was a lot of coughing and sneezing, too, according to Roy. A bug went around the team in the interim between competitions and threatened to sidetrack the Hawks.

“Having kids miss practice in cheering, that shuts down a stunt group,” Roy said. “Coming into today, we were like … warm-ups were tough, but they brought it.”

After finishing second to Ellsworth at regionals, Hermon (86) turned the tables on the Eagles (82.8) to capture the Class B state title. Medomak Valley (78.5), Old Town (74.1) and Leavitt (74) completed the top five.

Hermon coach Kristy Reed told her team there was no margin for error if it wanted to defend its title.

“Truly, it’s just that we can’t make a mistake,” Reed said. “Nobody’s going to give us anything. We’ve got to earn it, and we just need to hit our routine. At the end of the day, that’s the only thing we can control.”

“Watching them, each piece of the routine, it was like it kept getting more exciting,” Reed said. “It was just really great to see them hit it when it counted.”


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