IESA Headlines

2012 IESA Cheerleading Championships Set For Saturday

BLOOMINGTON - The field in the 11th year of the Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) State Cheerleading Championships is the largest number of competing squads ever. There will be 90 performances from 75 different schools on Saturday (January 21) in the Exhibit Hall of the Peoria Civic Center. 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, Small Team is for school squads with 5-12 cheerleaders, Medium Team is for school squads with 13-16 members, and Large Team is for squads with 17-25 members. In the Cheer category, Small Team is for school squads with 1-12 members and Large Team is for school squads with 13-25 cheerleaders. There are some schools that participate in both of the divisions--Routine and Cheer.

Last year there were 86 performances. In 2010, there were 93 performances and in 2008 there were 81. In 2007 there were 72 and in 2006 there were 82.

The 2012 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:

Event Time Awards Ceremony
Cheer & Large Routine 9:00 a.m.-11:32 a.m. 11:45 a.m. (Approx.)
Small and Medium Team Routine 12:45-4:10 p.m. 4:30 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 20 Small Team squads scheduled to compete, along with 6 Large Team squads. In Routine, there are 30 Small Team squads scheduled to compete along with 20 Medium Team squads and 14 Large Team squads.

Two-time defending Small Team Cheer champion Buffalo Grove St. Mary's is scheduled to perform at 9:08 a.m. Last year's Small Team Cheer runner-up Jacksonville Turner will be performing at approximately 11:00 a.m. Two schools from the same district will battle once again for bragging rights in the Large Team Cheer Division. Edwardsville Liberty, last year's large team cheer champions will take the mat at 9:36. while Edwardsville Lincoln, runner-up to Liberty last year will follow at 9:44.

The Routine Division will feature once again Orland Hill Bernardin. The Cardinals have placed first in the routine division each year they have entered the IESA competition. They captured first place their first two years in the large team category and then have placed first the past two years in the medium team routine category. They are entered in the medium team routine category once again and will perform at approximately 1:45 p.m. Last year's Medium Team Routine runner-up Lemont Old Quarry will be tentatively competing at 1:53 p.m. this year. Winner of the Small Team Routine last year was Paris Crestwood and they will take the mat at 3:25 while the 2011 small team runner-up, Lockport Oak Prairie, will be the first routine team to take the mat in the afternoon session at 12:45 p.m. The defending Large Team Routine champion, Frankfort Summit Hill, is scheduled to tentatively perform at 10:24 a.m. while the 2011 runner-up in the large team division, Homer Glen Homer will perform at 10:48 a.m.

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

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

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

Routine - The squad performs a routine with music for a time period from 1-3 minutes in length. The normal full routine starts with music, then a cheerleading/sideline portion, followed by music to finish the routine. A school may enter either the small team, medium team or large team in the event.

The order of competition in each event and judging criteria is on the Cheerleading Page of the IESA Web site. Go to for complete information regarding the 2012 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.

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