AUGUSTA — A full day of cheerleading Saturday at Cony High School produced two repeat winners but also saw four new teams crowned at this year’s regional championships.

Lewiston (Class A North), Noble (A South), Gray-New Gloucester (B South) and Houlton (C North) dethroned the champs in their respective regions Saturday. Elsewhere, Ellsworth (B North) and Lisbon (C South) successfully defended their crowns.

The A North competition saw Lewiston earn 86.9 points to top Oxford Hills (83.1 points) and Bangor (82.8) in a tight battle for first place. Hampden Academy (77.5), Brewer (68.75), Skowhegan (46.40), Windham (46.25), and Portland (44.75) also qualified for next week’s state championships at the Augusta Civic Center.

Lewiston’s regional title was its first since 2017, preceding A North titles by Bangor (2018, 2019, 2020, 2022) and Oxford Hills (2023). A desire to get back on top, senior Reese Maynard said, motivated the Blue Devils heading into the winter.

“(Finishing second at regionals and states last year) really put a fire under us, for sure,” said Maynard, whose team will go for its 12th state title next Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center. “It’s for sure what motivated us to come back this year and do better. We said, ‘OK, we finished second last year, so this year, we need to come back harder than ever.’”

“We came together as a team today, and we worked hard today and gave each other our energy,” added Lewiston senior Jersey Cunningham. “We have like eight seniors, so we wanted to make sure our last regionals together was the best. We wanted to go all in and go out with a bang.”


The Lisbon Bulldogs celebrate their victory in the Class C South regional cheerleading championships Saturday at Cony Middle and High School in Augusta. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

In Class C South, Lisbon/St. Dom’s (74.75 points) won its third straight regional crown, with Orono (68.7 points) topping Sumner (68.55), Bucksport (68) and Mountain Valley (66.8) in a tight race for second. Central (60.95), Bangor Christian (58) and Sacopee Valley (58) also advanced to next week’s championships.

The Class C North crown went to Houlton, which racked up 64.4 points to edge out reigning champion Dexter (63 points) in a tight race for first. Penquis Valley (54.3 points), Central Aroostook (54.1), Calais (49.2 points), Mattanawcook Academy (47.4), Foxcroft (43.25) and Woodland (42.45) rounded out the top eight.

“We worked so hard, and it feels amazing,” Lisbon junior captain Riley Hoyle said of her team’s first-place triumph. “We had to change everything because we lost one of our flyers, so it was a very stressful two weeks since MVCs (Mountain Valley Conference championships). … That just makes it so rewarding. I’m so proud of my team.”

With the elimination of Class D in cheerleading this season, the Class C regional fields looked much different compared with years past. Orono, Sumner, Bucksport and Central, four of Lisbon’s top threats Saturday, were bumped to Class C South this year after traditionally competing in the North.

“We were very stressed out because we didn’t know how Sumner was going to come out and do,” Hoyle said. “We felt that was going to be our competition, but once we hit all of our stunts, came across and came off the floor happy, it felt amazing. It was still stressful, but we pulled it off.”

Gray-New Gloucester emphatically won Class B South, registering 79.55 points to beat out Leavitt (61.90 points) and Erskine Academy (60.10 points) for the title. Poland (54.05), Morse/Wiscasset (52.80), Gardiner/Hall-Dale (45.80), Oceanside (40.0) and Oak Hill (36.80) also earned top-eight finishes.


GNG’s win wasn’t just resounding; it was also historic for a team that had never won a regional championship in its history entering the meet. The Patriots’ stunts, senior Kiara Martinez and junior Marissa Rowe said, made the difference for the team in the history-making Southern Maine title.

“We have never hit our stunts that solid, ever,” Martinez said. “We were very nervous, but we kept our cool, and we made sure we focused on us instead of focusing on anybody else. Every little thing mattered, and we fought for every little thing. I’m so happy for my team. It’s so surreal.”

Following the Western Maine Conference championships, Martinez said, GNG felt it had a chance to do something special at regionals. After coming in second in last year’s regional meet, the Patriots were dead set on doing one better this go-around, and they delivered.

“We made such a huge improvement this time,” Martinez said. “We were upset with our performance when we came here last year, so coming back here today and making those improvements, it was so refreshing and so amazing. We did what we wanted to, and it’s the first time ever.”

Ellsworth racked up 83.90 points to win the B North competition, while John Bapst (79.90 points) beat out Hermon (79.25 points) in a tight battle for second place. Winslow (70.90), Presque Isle (67.35), Old Town (67.10), Mt. Blue (63.60) and Lawrence (62.15) also booked return trips to Augusta next week.

Between Erskine, Gardiner/Hall-Dale, Oak Hill, Winslow, Mt. Blue and Lawrence, central Maine will be well-represented in those Class B state championships. For Erskine’s Eagles, whose third-place finish made them the top performing local squad, the day marked another big step for a program that’s surged the past two years.

“We (had to replace) one of our flyers, so it was challenging, but we did a good job,” said Erskine’s Hailey Fongemie, whose team won last year’s Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B title. “We worked hard, and it feels good.”

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