The Acadia Youth Sports cheering team with their state champion banner Saturday at the State of Maine Elementary and Junior High Cheering Competition, held at the Cross Insurance Center. PHOTO COURTESY OF JENNY SAUNDERS

Cheering state champs!

BANGOR — Members of the Acadian Youth Sports cheerleading team ended their season on a high note Saturday with a state championship win. The AYS cheerleaders came out ahead of four other teams in Grade 3-8 Division 2.

The competition is organized by the Calais Recreation Department. More than 57 teams participated, with more than 800 young cheerleaders.

The team practices twice a week during the season, which began in November. “They work very hard all season for three minutes on the floor for cheering, stunting, tumbling and dance,” Coach Jenny Saunders said. “This is performance sports so they have to do all that and make it look easy and fun. My girls nailed it!”

Team members include Sophia Young, Samantha Mace, Amelia Ashmore, Hallie Hamblen, Grace Hodgdon, Eden Hodgdon, Alexa Murphy, Marissa Richardson, Pixie Urquhart-Astbury, Marleigh Richardson, Anna Burdzel, Rayanna Brann, Phoebe Dunbar, Maddie Yoe, Gabby Merchant, Leah Whyott, Londan Gaspar, Allie Horner, Hannah Lawson, Phoebe Chamberlain and Celeste Leland. The team is coached by Saunders and Mallory Young.

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