State Stories

31

2018 Competitive Cheerleading

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The IHSA Cheerleading State Finals return to Bloomington's Grossinger Motors Arena on Friday and Saturday, February 2-3 A total of 100 schools will perform in Friday's prelims, with twenty-five qualifying in each of the four classes: Small, Medium, Large, and Coed. The Top 10 teams in each class on Friday will return to perform again in Saturday’s finals.

Every performance this weekend will be streamed live on the NFHS Network via www.IHSA.tv with a subscription, with Savanna Sibley and Josh Anderson calling the action.

SMALL CLASS
1st Time Qualifiers: 1, Illini Bluffs;
13-Time Qualifiers: None
Sectional Champions: Rockford Lutheran (85.93); Farmington (84.77); Breese Central (83.63); Reed-Custer (81.37); Roxana (74.46)
Breese Central returned to the pinnacle of the IHSA’s Small Class division in 2017, as the Cougars won their third overall state title following back-to-back titles in 2014 and 2015. Reed-Custer earned its first-ever trophy a year ago in finishing second to the Cougars, which was the program’s seventh Top 10 finish, including five in a row. Both the Cougars and Comets won Sectional titles last Saturday, so expect them to be back in the trophy hunt again this weekend. Paris placed third a year ago to build on its proud tradition, which now includes two trophies (2nd in 2009) and seven Top 10 finishes. Roxana earned its third Sectional title in program history over the weekend, as the Shells now hope to use that momentum to notch their first Top 10 finish. Fellow Sectional champs Rockford Lutheran and Farmington both appear to be on the cusp of reaching the podium after placing fourth and fifth, respectively, last year. Farmington has now won two straight Sectional crowns, while this is Lutheran’s first ever. 2016 state champ Wilmington pushed Reed-Custer at Sectionals and will be a program to watch this weekend, as will first-time qualifier Illini Bluffs, who missed a Sectional crown by just over a point. Perennial powers Rockridge (6th in 2017) and Timothy Christian (8th) each have a pair of runner-up finishes in their histories, and have combined for 14 Top 10 finishes.


MEDIUM CLASS
1st Time Qualifiers: 3, Brooks; Burlington Central; Chi. Heights Marian Catholic
13-Time Qualifiers: 4, Bloomington; Lemont; Oak Forest; Tinley Park
Sectional Champions: Crystal Lake Central (91.27); Lemont (90.71); Grayslake Central (89.27); Washington (86.44); Columbia (83.79)
The IHSA Cheerleading State Finals have known just one season where a Lemont team didn’t finish on the podium (4th in 2015). The school’s amazing run continued last year when the Indians captured their fifth state championship and 12th overall trophy in program history. Columbia finished as the runner-up for the second time in three seasons last year. The Eagles own four state titles (3 in Small, 1 in Medium) and have three straight Top 5 finishes in the Medium Class. If that’s not enough depth, Oak Forest will be a part of the field once again. The Bengals resume includes the 2016 state title to go along with five other trophies. Crystal Lake Central (7th in 2017) is two years removed from its first state final trophy and has now captured three straight Sectional titles in its bid to return to trophy contention. Meanwhile, district schools Grayslake Central and Grayslake North battled it out for the top spot at Sectionals last week. Central prevailed by less than a point, a bit of a role reversal from last year’s state meet when North finished 7th and Central 10th. After missing the Top 10 from 2014-2016, Antioch appears to be a top contender again, as the program placed 4th a year ago and finished second in their Sectional this year. The Sequoit tradition includes a pair of runner-up finishes (2006 & 2011). Washington has just one Top 10 finish in program history, but enters state with the momentum of its first Sectional crown.


LARGE CLASS
1st Time Qualifiers: 1, Oswego East
13-Time Qualifiers: 3, Lake Zurich; Lockport; Sandburg
Sectional Champions: Joliet West (93.47); Prospect (91.29); Huntley (90.76); Stevenson (88.84); Sandburg (87.09)
Lincoln-Way East reclaimed the Large Class crown a year ago, as the Griffins won their third state championship in program history and first since going back-to-back in 2014 and 2015. Joliet West’s amazing run continues, as the Tigers followed their state title in 2016 by finishing second last year and then won a Sectional title on Saturday. Prospect appears to be a program on the rise, as the Knights posted their first Top 10 finish in school history last year (10th) and now follow with their second straight Sectional championship. Three-time state champ Sandburg (3rd in 2017) won its deep Sectional this year, which included the defending champs, as well as a Marist squad that could be poised to post its ninth Top 10 finish and first since 2014. Stevenson is always a contender, as witnessed by eight Top 10 finishes, and the Patriots hope that their Sectional winning squad can bring the school its first trophy since 2006. Huntley also bears watching, as the Red Raiders tallied their first Sectional title on Saturday and hope to record their second Top 10 finish ever this weekend. Neuqua Valley (5th in 2017) is a program that can never be ignored, as the Wildcats have six straight Top 10 finishes, which include two runners-up and one third-place trophy.


COED CLASS
1st Time Qualifiers: None
13-Time Qualifiers: 3, Conant; Elk Grove Village; Lake Park
Sectional Champions: Belvidere North (91.83); Buffalo Grove (90.44); Lockport (87.96); Normal University (86.84); Glenbard East (82.46)
The IHSA’s Coed Class state champions have been a fairly small and exclusive group over the years, with Elk Grove Village and then Buffalo Grove (both coached by 2018 NFHS Spirit Coach of the Year Jeff Siegal, who will be recognized on Friday) reigning for much the tourney’s history. Belvidere North welcomed itself to the club a year ago, becoming the fourth non-Grove school to win a Coed crown. The Blue Thunder appear to be interested in developing a long-term run of their own, as they won their third straight Sectional title this season. Conant, who has won state in both the Large and Coed classes, earned its sixth trophy when it finished second last year, and managed to top Buffalo Grove, who was third a year ago, at Sectionals last week. Sectional winner Normal University now has five straight Top 10 finishes, including its best-ever finish when the Pioneers were fourth in 2017. Glenbard East is an intriguing storyline, as the Rams had qualified for state just once in the past eight years before winning their Sectional on Saturday. Lockport (6th in 2017) falls into that category as well, as the Porters have a storied tradition in the Large Class, including seven state trophies and two titles, and appear to have transitioned well into Coed given their Sectional win. Adding more depth to division are Stagg (7th in 2017), South Elgin (8th), Plainfield South (9th) and York (10th), who all finished in the Top 10 a year ago.

TOURNAMENT HISTORY
13th annual State Series
12th year at U.S. Cellular Coliseum


SITE

Grossinger Motors Arena
Bloomington
Directions


HOST
Bloomington-Normal CVB
BN Sports Commission


SCHEDULE

Team-by-Team Schedules:
Prelims   -   Finals

Friday, February 2
Session 1
9:15 AM - Prelims of Small & Medium Classes

1:45 PM - Small/Medium finalists announced

Session 2
3:30 PM - Prelims of Large & Coed Classes

8:00 PM - Large/Coed finalists announced

Saturday, February 3
Session 3
11:00 AM - Finals of Small & Medium Classes

12:50 PM - Small Awards

1:15 PM - Medium Awards

3:00 PM - Finals of Large & Coed Classes

4:55 PM - Large Awards

5:20 PM - Coed Awards


TICKETS
$10 per day


WATCH

All performances available live on NFHS Network via www.IHSA.tv


RESULTS
Friday Prelim Results

Saturday Final Results


SOCIAL MEDIA
#IHSA on Twitter
Twitter - @IHSAstate

Instagram - @IHSA_IL

Facebook.com/IHSA.IL

Classic IHSA YouTube Video



OFFICIAL STATE FINAL
Gear from Minerva

Photos from VIP

IHSA Program



STATE SUPPORTERS
Country Financial

Wilson Sporting Goods

Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano

Busey

US Marines

Gatorade

MaxPreps


Ross Athletic

UCA

Varsity Brands


HISTORY & RECORDS
2018 Sectional Results

Record Book & Past Champions