It took a little longer than expected due to weather delays, but the field is finally set for the 2014 IHSA Competitive Cheerleading State Finals. State champions will be crowned in four classes (Small, Medium, Large, Coed) this weekend at U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington, as the ninth edition of the state tournament unfolds on February 7-8.
Every performance this weekend will be streamed live on IHSA.tv (www.IHSA.tv) with a subscription, and portions of Saturday’s finals will also be rebroadcast on Comcast Sports Net Chicago (click for for dates/times).
The Small Class features many of the usual suspects in 2014, as the entire Top 10 from a year ago returns to the state tournament. That includes defending state champ Dwight, who edged Rockridge for the state title a year ago in the closest finish in the division’s history (87.20 to 87.00). Rockridge was able to turn the tables in Sectionals this year, earning the crown at Grayslake North over Dwight. Timothy Christian, who placed second in the state in 2010 and 2012, enters with the momentum of a Sectional crown as well, while Bunker Hill also won its Sectional en route to qualifying for state for the first time since 2010. Breese Central, winner of the Triad Sectional, placed third in 2013 and has finished sixth over better in each of the past four seasons. Byron has also been the model of consistency with Top 10 finishes in four of the past five seasons, while Sesser-Valier jumped from eighth in 2012 to fifth in 2013 and hopes to take home a trophy in 2014.
Columbia continued one of the most impressive current streaks in IHSA athletics a year ago, as the three-time defending Small Class champions moved up to the Medium Class and managed to win their fourth consecutive state championship. Eventual runner-up Lemont, a three-time state champ, tallied the top score in the class in the Friday prelims at state a year ago, before being edged by Columbia by the slightest of margins (90.92 to 90.80) in Saturday’s finals. Last year’s third-place finisher Oak Forest also returns in 2014 and enters with the momentum of a Sectional title, which the Bengals earned by edging Lemont by less than a point. Sectional champion Grayslake North is making its seventh consecutive state final appearance, while Mascoutah returns to the Medium Class after placing fourth in the Coed Class a year ago. Sandwich clinched its first state final trip with an exclamation point, winning the Rolling Meadows Sectional, while perennial powers Wauconda (4th), Highland (9th) and Triad (10th) also return after placing in the Top 10 a year ago.
Providence came out on top of a tightly contested pack in the Large Class in 2013, as the Celtics earned their first state title in school history. The next five teams in the standings were all 1.54 points or less behind Providence and with most of the field returning in 2014, it should be another close race. Last year’s runner-up, Marist, enters this year’s state tourney on the heels of a Sectional championship. Sandburg (4th) and Lockport (5th) both finished in the Top 5 a year ago and the two decorated programs, with a combined five state titles, are expected to be in the mix again this season. Lake Zurich and Neuqua Valley, who placed eighth and tenth, respectively, last season, both won Sectional crowns last week and could be on the verge of cracking the Top 5 in 2014. Defending champ Providence had to wait until Thursday to qualify for the state tourney because of weather delays, but the delay showed no impact, as the Celtics won their Sectional, topping neighboring Minooka, who placed second.
New school, same result. After leading Elk Grove Village to five consecutive Coed Class state titles from 2006-2010, Jeffrey Siegal took the head coaching job at Buffalo Grove in 2011 and in his third season led the school to its first state championship. The Bison return to defend their title in 2014 against a talented field that includes Barrington, the runner-up in 2012 and 2013, who like Buffalo Grove, enters the state finals after winning their respective Sectional. Conant, a 2010 state champion and third-place finisher in the Large Class last season, tries its hand in the Coed Class this year. So far so good, as the Cougars won their Sectional last week, something Meta Valley (Large qualifier in 2013) also added to its resume after posting the top score at the Riverside-Brookfield Sectional. Grant High School returns on the heels of its best finish in school history (3rd in 2013), while mainstay Mundelein has made three consecutive Top 10 finishes. 2012 state champion Rich Central, who placed fifth a year ago, returns to the field via the weather-delayed Mahomet-Seymour Sectional, which was won by Homewood-Flossmoor.
U.S. Cellular Coliseum (Bloomington)
Prelims - Finals
Friday, February 7
9:15 AM - Prelims of Small & Medium Classes
4:15 PM - Prelims of Large & Coed Classes
Saturday, February 8
11:00 AM - Finals of Small & Medium Classes
12:45 PM - Small Awards
1:15 PM - Medium Awards
3:00 PM - Finals of Large & Coed Classes
4:45 PM - Large Awards
5:15 PM - Coed Awards
All performances available live on www.IHSA.tv
Friday Prelim Results
Saturday Final Results
$10 per day
No audio broadcasts currently scheduled for this event
HISTORY & RECORDS
2014 Sectional Results
Record Book & Past Champions