For the second straight year—and the fifth year out of six—Saint Viator’s competitive cheerleading squad is headed to the IHSA state championships in Bloomington. The team will perform their highflying routine in the Cahill Gym at 3:15 p.m. Thursday, before they leave for the opening day of competition on Friday.
“We are so proud of the amazing 16 athletes that make up our varsity team,” says Head Coach Amanda Ray. “They’ve had one heck of a season.”
Last weekend, the Lions took third place at sectionals, and were among the top five teams to advance to state. Even better, the team earned its highest score this season—87.23—putting them among the top five squads in the medium school division, going into prelims.
In all, 25 teams qualified at sectionals to earn a state berth. They will perform their routines on Friday with the hopes of scoring well enough to make the top 10, which advance to the state finals.
“We’re really focusing on the execution of every skill in our routine,” Ray adds. “Hitting zero (deductions) and advancing to the state finals on Saturday is tops on the list for this resilient team.”
They have a secret weapon. Among their coaches is Kathaleen Murphy ’12, who was on the Saint Viator squad that won the state title in 2012. She has worked with the team during summers and on breaks from Indiana University, but now that she has graduated she is one of their assistant coaches.
“We are very excited to have her back with us full time this season,” Ray says. “She knows firsthand what it’s like to represent Saint Viator at such a high-level competition.”
Follow the Lions as they compete at state. Performances will be live streamed by the IHSA on the NFHS network. For live performances, visit: https://www.nfhsnetwork.com/tournament/illinois-winter-championships/cheerleading-il.