Cheer FAQ

Following are frequently asked questions about Cheer. For more information, please contact the VP of Cheer.

Cheerleaders must be between 6-14 years old by August 1st of the current year. Cheerleaders are assigned to a cheer squad based on grade level.

Panthers is a 100% volunteer run program.   Depending on your level of comfort, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved.  You can help at any of the following levels:

  • Board Member
  • Head Coach
  • Assistant Coach
  • Team Admin
  • Spirit Wear Sales Committee
  • Event Planning Committee

If you would like to get your feet wet, please Contact Us.

The Panthers play regular season games against teams affiliated with the Bill George Football League.  Some of the towns include Lombard, Carol Stream, Glendale Heights, Bartlett, Elk Grove, and West Chicago; for additional information and directions, please visit our BGYFL page.

The season typically starts the first Monday in August of the current year.   Squads will cheer at either 8-9 games with 4/5 games being Home games and the remainder being away.  Panther Cheerleaders will also support the football teams throughout the BGYFL playoffs. Our season will conclude after the BGYFL Super Bowl.

**Teams that advance to State Cheerleading Competition will end Mid-December. **

Practices typically start the first week of August at O’Neil Middle School (635 59th St. Downers Grove) according to the following below:

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 but will still keep the same schedule as indicated above. 

Please note that mid September, practices will move to an indoor practice space using the following below:

Panthers is a non-profit organization.  In addition to providing the following cheer items as demonstrated in the chart below, registration fees help cover league fees, administrative costs, park field usage costs including lights, insurance cost, indoor space usage, end of year cheer competition and allows us to replace older cheer uniforms/ equipment on a rotating basis.

Aside from having to purchase the following mandatory items:

  • Socks
  • Navy Leggings/Warm Up Pants

Many squads will contribute money towards squad centric events that occur throughout the season such as yard signs for homecoming, pink bows for Breast Cancer Awareness month, etc.  This will be communicated by either the Head Coach or Team Admin once the season starts.

**The 3rd through 8th Grade squads also have the opportunity to qualify and attend the IRCA State Competition in December.  State qualifying teams will incur an additional expense to cover state registration fees and additional indoor practice space.**

Squads are expected to sideline cheer at the scheduled home and away games along with performing a halftime routine.   Additionally, there are BGYFL Playoffs at the end of the season where they would also sideline cheer and perform a halftime routine.  1st and 2nd Grade squads will compete in one UYFL Cheerleading Competition.  3rd through 8th Grade squads will compete in two IRCA Regional Competitions.  The 3rd through 8th Grade squads also have the opportunity to qualify and attend the IRCA State Competition in December.  State qualifying teams will incur an additional expense to cover state registration fees and additional indoor practice space.

In order to keep registration costs down, cheerleaders will be required to sell ONE mandatory fundraiser totaling $100 which are included in the registration fee.  The Discount Cards will be distributed during one of our Walk In Registrations which you will need to attend to complete registration. 

Refunds requested before cheer uniforms and/or warmups have been ordered will be refunded the paid registration fee, minus $35, and minus any discounts given at the time of registration.  For refunds requested after cheer uniforms and/or warm ups have been ordered, 50% of the paid registration fee will be refunded upon return of the uniform. 

**No requests for registration fee refunds will be accepted after the second Monday in August for any reason.  There are no refunds for the Panthers pre-season camp.**