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2015 IESA Cheerleading Championships Set For Saturday, January 24

BLOOMINGTON - Over 1,000 cheerleaders will showcase their talents at the 14th annual Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) State Cheerleading Championships which will be held on Saturday, January 24 in the Exhibit Hall of the Peoria Civic Center. There will be 75 performances from 58 different schools on Saturday. There are two event categories of competition in IESA cheerleading. One is Routine (with three divisions based on squad size) and the other is Cheer (with two divisions based on squad size). In the Routine category, the Small Team division is for school squads with 5-12 cheerleaders, the Medium Team division is for school squads with 13-16 members, and the Large Team division is for squads with 17-25 members. In the Cheer category, the Small Team division is for school squads with no more than 12 members and the Large Team division is for school squads with 13-25 cheerleaders. There are some schools that participate in both of the divisions--Routine and Cheer.

The 2015 Championships get under way at 9:00 a.m. in the Exhibit Hall. Tickets to the Championships will be on sale at the Peoria Civic Center. Admission is $8.00 for adults, $4.00 for senior citizens and students K-8. Preschoolers are admitted free. Admission gates open at 8:00 a.m.

This year's schedule of events will be:

EventTimeAwards Ceremony
Small & Large Cheer & Large Routine9:00 a.m.-11:15 a.m.11:45 a.m. (Approx.)
Small & Medium Team Routine12:45-3:40 p.m.4:00 p.m. (Approx.)

Note: The awards ceremonies will follow the final performance in the respective category. Times listed for the award ceremonies are approximate.

In Cheer, there are 9 Small Team squads scheduled to compete, along with 8 Large Team squads. In Routine, there are 24 Small Team squads scheduled to compete, 18 Medium Team squads, and 16 Large Team squads.

Following is a breakdown of what is involved in each category:

Cheer - The squad performs without music for a time period from 1:30-2:00 minutes in length. The performance may include stunts, tumbling and jumps. A school may enter either the small team or large team division.

Routine - The squad performs a routine with music for a time period from 1:30-3:00 minutes in length. The normal full routine starts with music, then a cheerleading/sideline portion, followed by music to finish the routine. The music portion of the routine cannot exceed 1:30. A school may enter the small team, medium team or large team division in the event.

Here is a brief look at each of the divisions:

Small Team Cheer

The 2014 small team champion, Bradley Central, will be looking for a "3-peat" after capturing the team title in 2013 and 2014. They are scheduled to perform at 9:08 a.m. The 2014 runner-up in this division, the Titans of Jacksonville Turner will perform at 9:40. In a surprise move, Shelbyville Moulton has dropped their entry and will not be performing this year opening the door for other teams to place. The Rams won seven consecutive first place titles in Small Team Cheer, stemming from 2001-2007. Macomb Jr. High has dropped down to the small team cheer category this year after taking home 1st place honors in the large team cheer division last year.

Large Team Cheer

Dunlap Middle School will be aiming to take home top honors in the Large Team Cheer championships after placing second last year. They will perform at 10:28 Saturday morning. The Panthers will be looking to fend off the seven other teams competing in the Large Team Cheer division. Of those seven schools, only Green Valley Midwest Central entered this division a year ago, meaning there will be many fresh faces on display. The remaining three schools competing in Large Team Cheer are Germantown Hills, Mundelein Carl Sandburg, Bloomington JHS, Odell, East Peoria Central, and Markham Prairie-Hills. The Large Team action begins with Germantown Hills set to perform at 10:12 a.m. First time participants are squads from Bloomington JHS, Markham Prairie-Hills, and Mundelein Carl Sandburg.

Small Team Routine

A new champion will be crowned in the Small Team Routine division, as the 2014 champion in this division, Orland Hill Bernardin did not enter the competition this year. Bernardin captured 1st place in the division in which they participated for seven consecutive years. Lockport Kelvin Grove, last year's Medium Team champion, has moved into the Small Team Routine division this year. The Hornets will be looking to capture 1st place in this division this year. Fans of the Small Team Routine division will look forward to the back-to-back performances around 3:15 p.m. of New Berlin and Bradley Central. These two schools placed 4th and 2nd respectively last year while the 3rd place finisher last year, Farmington Central takes the mat at 12:53 p.m. Performing for the first time in the Small Team Routine division are the Raiders of Palos Heights St. Alexander, Bartonville Monroe, Mokena, and Rockford Lincoln. It should be a terrific afternoon for all of the small team routine teams. Competition in the Small Team Routine division begins at 12:45 p.m.

Medium Team Routine

This division is wide open for the team championship as the top six teams from last year are either in a different division or did not enter this year. That leaves Lockport Oak Prairie as the highest returning placer from last year when the Bulldogs placed 7th. Yorkville will be looking to take home first place honors as the Foxes are moving to the Medium Team division after capturing 2nd place honors in the Large Team Routine Division last year. Newcomers to the competition this year are Aurora Holy Angels, Calumet City Dolton 149, and Danville North Ridge. Competition in the Medium Team Routine division begins at 12:49 p.m.

Large Team Routine

All of the Large Team Routine performances will take place in the morning session starting at 9:04 a.m. The defending Large Team Routine champion, Frankfort Summit Hill, is scheduled to perform at 9:44 a.m. while the 2014 3rd place team, Homer Glen Homer will take the mat at 10:32 a.m. These two squads have been battling for first place in this division for the past four years, and both will certainly bring their game come Saturday. With 16 teams performing and three trophies up for grabs, any one of the remaining 14 schools has a chance to take home a trophy. Saturday morning at the Peoria Civic Center in Exhibit Hall C will be loud and crowded. First time entrants in the Large Team Routine are Loves Park Harlem, McHenry MS, and Vernon Hills Hawthorn North.

All times are tentative and subject to change. Please refer to the on-line schedule for most up-to-date times.

The order of competition in each event and judging criteria is on the Cheerleading Page of the IESA Web site. Go to www.iesa.org for complete information regarding the 2015 IESA Cheerleading Championships. Click on the underlined "Cheer" in the box at the top of the page. Once on the Cheerleading home page, you can click on the underlined "Order of Competition" to view the performance schedule for all squads by event. Results of the competition will be posted Saturday evening.

For more information, please contact the Cheer Administrator, Steve Endsley at 309-829-0114 or steve@iesa.org.



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