LEWISTON — The Bangor cheer team had what coach Stephanie Crane called “the cleanest routine” of its season — until a fall near the end.

Junior Taylor Blackwell said she did not expect to win after the fall, but the Rams (85.8) managed to edge Lewiston (84.4) to win the Class A North regional championship Saturday at Lewiston High School.

“We were a little nervous,” Blackwell said. “We wanted to take in the moment … we came in with a great mindset and performed. We were so ready. We had one mess up and we were not expecting to win today, and I am happy that we did.”

The regional championship was supposed to be held a week earlier at the Augusta Civic Center but was postponed due to a snowstorm. The venue switch to Lewiston was an adjustment for Bangor.

“I think it was a little more nervous than normal because it’s a different venue,” Crane said. “We got here a little early and were able to sit and see where everything was and where the girls were going to perform. In Augusta, you know where everything is at the Civic Center, but (athletic director) Jason Fuller and Lewiston did a great job.”

Crane said she was happy with the Rams’ performance but didn’t think they were going to win because of the fall and the big routines of teams like Lewiston and KVAC champion Oxford Hills (third place, 81).


“I am shocked,” Crane said. “I am actually very speechless. I was not expecting it at all. We had that fall at the very end, so we knew the caliber of Lewiston and Oxford Hills and we assumed that the fall took us out of the running. I am speechless.”

Blackwell shared in the disbelief.

“Overall I was really proud of the team,” Blackwell said. “It took us a long time to come together as a team, so to be able to have that amazing performance with the energy we had, overall I was proud of our performance and of our team. I feel great, speechless. I am shocked, I’m shaking and I’m very, very happy.”

The judges were split in their scores, with two giving higher scores to Lewiston, the other two to giving Bangor higher scores.

Co-coaches Matt Hanley and Torey Reny are proud of the Blue Devils’ effort on Saturday.

“They were amazing, we are really proud of them,” Reny said. “They definitely stepped up today and gave a great performance. Our score is up from KVACs and I know they’re proud of themselves. We did really great today.”


Added Hanley: “Between KVACs and regionals we changed our pyramid so that our scores could be higher. We really elevated parts of our routine, and our score showed it.”

Although the Blue Devils also are used to performing at the Augusta Civic Center, they were excited to showcase their talent on their home mat.

“It was a different atmosphere today at home,” Reny said. “They love the Civic Center, they love performing, they’re a performance team. This week we were doing full-outs all week. We were getting ready for today and we were excited for today.”

Hanley added that Lewiston will work on the little things in preparation for the Class A state championship, which is next Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center.

“Looks like we need to focus on the little things that really matter in cheering that sometimes you forget about,” Hanley said. “Lewiston is really good at tumbling, really good at stunting and we do everything at a high level. If we focus on the little things then we will do a lot better, and that’s our focus for states.”

Hampden finished in fourth (67.6), followed by Mt. Blue (63.4), Skowhegan (41.7), Portland (39.6), Windham (32.9) and Deering (29.4). Every team is eligible for the Class A state championship.


Biddeford took home the A South cheer title on Saturday with a point total of 81.15. The Tigers earned at least a 20 points from all four judges.

Sanford finished second with 76.4 points. Marshwood was third (73.15), followed by South Portland (72.3), Scarborough (71.4), Thornton Academy (67.65), Massabesic (61.35), Gorham (59.5), Noble (59), Bonny Eagle (52.6) and Kennebunk (45.3).

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