PANTHER JUNIOR FOOTBALL & CHEER

Cheer

Panthers is a recreational cheer program that focuses on fundamental cheerleading skills with an emphasis on teamwork, safety, and sportsmanship. Cheerleaders are expected to work as a team and attend two or three practices per week, depending on age. The squads cheer at weekly home and away Panther football games on Saturdays and/or Sundays August through mid-November. Cheerleaders are expected to cheer at a minimum of eight games. Panther cheerleaders also participate in two outside competitions. Parental support for the cheer squad and coaches is necessary for the success of the program.

Cheerleaders must be between 6-14 years old by August 1, 2017.  Cheerleaders are assigned to a cheer squad based on age/school grade.  

Cheer FAQs
Following are frequently asked questions for cheerleading. If you have other questions, please contact the VP of Cheer

Q - What are my financial obligations?
A - Panthers offers early bird registration dates in February and April that include discounted fees.  Fees are higher for the last registration date in May. Fees include use of a uniform (cheer skirt, shell, and crop top). Uniforms must be cleaned and returned at the end of the season. Also included are the following items that Cheerleaders will keep: Warm-up pants & jacket, cheer shoes, registration t-shirt, and trophy. You may incur additional costs during the season to cover indoor practice space rental, additional competition fees, etc. Panthers provides each squad with $15 per cheerleader to use towards an end of season party.

Q - What are the dates of the season?
A - The cheer season runs late July though mid-November.  
6th - 8th grade squads are eligible to participate in the IRCA State Competition, should they receive a qualifying bid. In that event, the cheer season will be extended into December.
 

Q - What about practices? Wh
ere are practices held?
A - Practice starts July 25, 2017. The location to be announced.
  • 1st & 2nd grades will practice Tuesday and Thursday from 6:00 - 7:30 PM at O'Neill.
  • 3rd grade will practice Tuesday and Thursday from 6:00 - 8:00 PM.
  • 4th thru 8th grades will be practice Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 6:00 - 8:00 PM.
Around the third week in August, practices will move to Memorial Park (Maple Avenue, between Main & Belmont) in Downers Grove. The exact date for moving to Memorial Park is determined by the Downers Grove Park District. Dates are sent out as soon as we are informed. Additional practices may be added at the beginning of the season prior to the start of school, or during the season to prepare for competitions. 

Please note that after September 1, practices may be held any day of the week between 4:30 PM - 8:30 PM. Around September 15, we try to move to indoor practice space. The practice schedule is dependent upon the availability of indoor space and may change weekly.


Q - What if my daughter is not able to make every practice?

A - Panther cheer is a travel sport. Each squad begins early in the season to develop a competition routine, and the girls need to be at each and every practice. If you're daughter is participating in another activity that will prohibit her from attending practices regularly, you may want to consider if Panthers is another activity she should be involved in. We want this to be a positive experience for everyone, so please consider this when you and your daughter make a commitment to Panthers. 

Q - Do the cheerleaders compete in any cheer competitions?

A - All squads will participate in two outside competitions during the season. The costs for these competitions are included in the registration fees. Please note the BGYFL Cheer Competition has be disbanded.

6th - 8th grade squads are eligible to participate in a third competition, if they wish. 6th - 8th grade squads may also participate in the IRCA State Competition in December, should they receive a qualifying bid. Fees for a third competition and/or the IRCA State Competition are the responsibility of the 6th - 8th grade squads, and are not included in the registration fees.


Q - Why are only the 6th - 8th grade squads eligible to participate in the IRCA State Competition?
A - Feedback from the majority of Panther parents indicates they only want to participate in two outside competitions. Further, the Panthers do not own indoor practice space. Once the regular football season comes to an end early in November, the availability of indoor space decreases because of other sports. There is simply not enough indoor practice space with full-size cheer mats available to accommodate practices for all squads.

Q - If my child does not like cheerleading, can I get a refund?
A - Refunds requested before cheer uniforms have been issued will be refunded the paid registration fee, minus $25, and minus any discounts given at the time of registration.  For refunds requested after cheer uniform has been issued, 50% of the paid registration fee will be refunded, upon return of the uniform.
THERE WILL BE NO REFUNDS FOR FUNDRAISING RAFFLE TICKET FEES AT ANY TIME.  
No requests for registration fee refunds will be accepted after August 14, 2017, for any reason.
There are no refunds for the Panthers pre-season camp.