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.  If the football team the squad is assigned with advances thru the playoffs, they are expected to continue to cheer with the team. The season will end with the end of year Cheer Competition that occurs in Mid-November.

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

  • 1st & 2nd grades will practice Tuesday and Thursday from 6:00 – 7:30 PM.
  • 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.

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.

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:

  • Cheer Bow
  • Socks
  • Music for routines (Head Coach/Team Admin will communicate this information)

Many squads will contribute money towards team centric events that occur throughout the season such as yard signs for homecoming, goodie bags for the football players during homecoming week, pink bows for Breast Cancer Awareness month, etc.  There are also additional competitions throughout the season that squads can register for and compete at. This will be communicated by either the Head Coach or Team Admin once the season starts.

Squads will be assigned to a football team and are expected to cheer on the sidelines and halftime at home and away games.  If the football team the squad is assigned with advances thru the playoffs, they are expected to continue to cheer with the team. Each squad will compete at the end of year Cheer Championship competition.  There are other local competitions that are available throughout the season, but these will incur an additional cost.

In order to keep registration costs down, cheerleaders will be required to sell ONE mandatory fundraiser which is distributed during one of our Walk In Registrations.  They will have until uniform pickup to turn in the fundraiser at that time.  Cheerleaders will not be allowed to pick up their uniform until their fundraiser is turned in.

Refunds requested before cheer uniforms have been issued 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 have been issued, 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.**