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2016 IESA Cheerleading Championships Set For Saturday, January 23

BLOOMINGTON – Over 1,000 cheerleaders will showcase their talents at the 15th annual Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) State Cheerleading Championships which will be held on Saturday, January 23 in the Exhibit Hall of the Peoria Civic Center. There will be 78 performances from 67 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 2016 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
Small & Large Cheer & Large Routine 9:00 a.m.-11:15 a.m. 11:45 a.m. (Approx.)
Small & Medium Team Routine 12:45-3:45 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 9 Large Team squads. In Routine, there are 26 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 includes music, a cheerleading/sideline portion, and generally more 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 2015 small team champion, Bradley Central, will be looking for a "4-peat" after capturing the team title in 2013, 2014, and 2015. They are scheduled to perform at 9:16 a.m. Shelbyville Moulton will once again be performing in this category. The Rams won seven consecutive first place titles in Small Team Cheer, from 2001-2007. They perform at 9:32 Saturday morning.

Large Team Cheer
Last year's champion, Dunlap Middle School will be aiming to once again take home top honors in the Large Team Cheer championship. They will perform at 10:20 Saturday morning. The Panthers will be looking to fend off the eight other teams competing in the Large Team Cheer division. The Large Team action begins with Mundelein Carl Sandburg set to perform at 10:12 a.m.

Small Team Routine
The category with the most teams performing (26) will kick things off in the Saturday afternoon session at 12:45 when the Flyers from Bartonville Monroe will take the floor. Farmington Central will wrap up the day's performances when they take the floor at 3:44. In between, 24 other schools will showcase their talents on the big blue mat inside Exhibit Hall C of the Peoria Civic Center. Last year's champion, Lockport Kelvin Grove performs at 2:47; Bradley Central which captured 2nd place last year in this category performs at 3:26. Last year's 3rd place winner, Bloomington Trinity Lutheran is not participating this year. There will be three trophies given in the category since there are at least 20 schools participating in the category. Who knows which school will take home 1st place honors this year but with 26 schools competing, anything is likely to happen.

Medium Team Routine
Competition in the Medium Team Routine division begins at 12:49 p.m. Last year's champion, the Foxes of Yorkville, will perform at 2:30 while last year's 2nd place finisher, Lemont Old Quarry will perform at 1:37 p.m. There are 16 other Medium Team performances Saturday afternoon. The Medium Team competition is always very good and fans will want to watch closely to see which one of the 18 teams takes home 1st or 2nd place.

Large Team Routine
All of the Large Team Routine performances will take place in the morning session starting at 9:04 a.m. Fans will want to stay in their seats to see last year's 1st and 2nd place teams perform back-to-back starting at 9:44 a.m. when Frankfort Summit Hill will take the floor. After finishing second last year, they will be looking to capture first place this year. Standing in their way will be the 2015 champion, Homer Glen Homer, who performs at 9:52. One of these two schools has captured 1st place in the past five years so there will be some excellent performances Saturday morning. With 16 total teams performing and two trophies up for grabs, any one of the remaining 14 schools has a chance to take home a trophy. Saturday morning will be loud and crowded inside Exhibit Hall C at the Peoria Civic Center.

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 2016 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, Leslie Alappattu at 309-829-0114 or

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