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2014 IESA Cheerleading Championships Set For Saturday, January 11

Over 1,000 cheerleaders will showcase their talents at the 13th annual Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) State Cheerleading Championships which will be held on Saturday, January 11 in the Exhibit Hall of the Peoria Civic Center.   There will be 81 performances from 73 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 2014 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
All Cheer & Large Routine 9:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. 12 noon (Approx.)
Small & Medium Team Routine 12:15-3:30 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 15 Small Team squads scheduled to compete, along with 5 Large Team squads. In Routine, there are 24 Small Team squads scheduled to compete, 25 Medium Team squads, and 12 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 2013 small team champion, Bradley Central, will be looking to repeat and is scheduled to perform at 9:08 a.m. Last year's runner-up in this category, Shelbyville Moulton, will kick off the competition as they are set to perform at 9:00 a.m. The Rams of Shelbyville Moulton previously won seven consecutive first place titles in Small Team Cheer, stemming from 2001-2007. Rounding out the top three from a year ago are the Titans of Jacksonville Turner, as they are set to perform at 10:28 a.m.

Large Team Cheer
Dunlap Middle School will be aiming for back-to-back Large Team Cheer championships after placing first a year ago. The Panthers will be looking to fend off the four other teams competing in the Large Team Cheer division. Of those four 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 Alton Middle School, Macomb Junior High School and Springfield Grant. The Large Team action begins with Alton Middle School set to perform at 9:04 a.m.

Small Team Routine
A new champion will be crowned in the Small Team Routine division, as the 2013 champion Lockport Kelvin Grove, has moved into the Medium Team Routine division. In fact, of the top three finishers from a year ago, only New Berlin Junior High School remains, with the Pretzels aiming for their first ever cheer championship. Performing for the first time in the Small Team Routine division are the Cardinals of Orland Hills Bernardin, who've won an astounding six straight cheer championships between the Medium and Large Team divisions.  Their performance is tentatively scheduled for 1:43 p.m.  Paris Crestwood is another team to keep an eye on, as the Eagles have turned out strong showings the past several years and are set to perform at 12:23 p.m.  That impressive run for Paris Crestwood is highlighted by a 2011 Small Team Routine championship. 

Medium Team Routine
The Monarchs of South Holland McKinley return to the Medium Team Routine division after placing in the top three the past two years, highlighted by 2013's second place finish. Edward A. Fulton JHS also returns to the big stage, as the Panthers aim to continue their impressive tournament showing after taking home third place a year ago. The Lady Panthers are set to perform at 2:19 p.m., while the Monarchs are kicking things off at 2:27 p.m.  One team not to overlook are the Redbirds of Alton, as these ladies have seen a steady improvement in their tournament placing since 2008. Last year’s Medium Team Routine champion, Orland Hills Bernardin, is competing in Small Team Routine.

Large Team Routine
All of the Large Team Routine performances will take place in the morning session. The defending Large Team Routine champion, Frankfort Summit Hill, is scheduled to perform at 10:00 a.m. while the 2013 runner-up in the large team division, Homer Glen Homer will take the mat at 10:53 a.m. These two squads have been battling for first place in this division for the past three years, and both will certainly bring their game come Saturday.  Another team not to bypass are the Indians of Minooka Junior High School, as these ladies captured third a year ago. Edwardsville Liberty and Edwardsville Lincoln Middle Schools, tournament fixtures, also figure to be in play for a top three finish.

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 for complete information regarding the 2014 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 additional information regarding accommodations within Peoria, please contact the Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. The PACVB is an official sponsor of the 2014 IESA Cheerleading Championships.

For more information, please contact the Cheer Administrator, John Venerable at 309-829-0114 or

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