IESA Headlines

2018 IESA Cheerleading Championships Set For Saturday, January 20

BLOOMINGTON - Nearly 3,000 cheerleaders will showcase their talents at the 17th annual Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) State Cheerleading Championships which will be held on Saturday, January 20 in the Exhibit Hall of the Peoria Civic Center. A record tying number of schools from throughout the state will be in attendance. There will be 92 performances from 81 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 2018 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 am-11:37 am    12:05 pm (Approx.)
Small & Medium Team Routine    1:30-5:36 pm    6:00 pm (Approx.)

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

In Cheer, there are 11 Small Team squads scheduled to compete, along with 8 Large Team squads. In Routine, there are 34 Small Team squads scheduled to compete, 22 Medium Team squads, and 17 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 2017 small team champion, Minooka, will be looking to repeat in the small team division after capturing the team title last year. They are scheduled to perform at 9:24 a.m. Last year's runner-up, Bradley Central, is not participating in the small team cheer event this year. Two teams which have had success in this division will be participating once again. Shelbyville Moulton will perform at 9:08 a.m. The Rams won seven consecutive first place titles in Small Team Cheer, from 2001-2007. Jacksonville MS (formerly Jacksonville Turner) has a second place and third place title to their credit in this division and will take the mat at 9:36 a.m. The small team cheer division is sure to provide a lot of surprises and excitement.

Large Team Cheer

With only one team trophy up for grabs given there only 8 squads performing in the category, last year's champion, Dunlap MS, will be looking for its 4th title in the last six year. They captured the team title in 2013, 2015, and 2017. Macomb will also be a strong contender for the team title. The won 2nd place last year and first place in 2014. The Large Team action begins with Alton who is set to perform at 10:44 a.m.

Small Team Routine

The category with the most teams performing (34) will kick things off in the Saturday afternoon session at 1:30 when Bethalto Trimpe takes the floor. Morris Shabbona will wrap up the day's performances when they take the floor at 5:36. In between, 32 other schools will showcase their talents on the big blue mat inside Exhibit Hall C of the Peoria Civic Center. Last year's champion, Eureka, will perform at 3:28. Lockport Kelvin Grove has taken home a place trophy in each of the last three years and will perform this year at 5:07 p.m. Paris Crestwood which captured 2nd place in 2016 in this category performs at 4:22 and last year's 3rd place winner, Bradley Central will perform at 2:12 p.m. 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 34 total schools competing, the Exhibit Hall be loud and exciting.

Medium Team Routine

Competition in the Medium Team Routine division begins at 1:34 p.m. when Yorkville will take the floor. Last year's champion, Alsip Prairie, will perform at 1:42 while last year's 2nd place finisher, Lemont Old Quarry will perform at 5:32 p.m. Old Quarry has finished second in each of the past three years. Last year's 3rd place finisher, Shorewood Troy, will perform at 4:13 p.m. There are 18 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 22 teams takes home 1st , 2nd , or 3rd place.

Large Team Routine

All of the Large Team Routine performances will take place in the morning session starting at 9:04 a.m. when Normal Kingsley will perform. Fans will want to be in their seats to see some excellent performances Saturday morning. With 17 total teams participating and the possibility of 25 cheerleaders being on the mat for each school performing, any one of the participating 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. Notable schools participating in this division and their performance times include Frankfort Hickory Creek (10:53); Edwardsville Lincoln (10:40); Frankfort Summit Hill (11:01); and Homer Glen Homer (11:33)

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 2018 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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