Even during the most unique of circumstances, Lemont High School has maintained its place as the most successful cheerleading program in the history of the IHSA State Series. Head coach Bree Grady’s squad placed second at the 2021 IHSA Medium Division Cheerleading State Finals, which were contested virtually on March 13. Lemont picked up its record 13th state trophy, and has finished among the state’s top five 16 times in as many seasons since the IHSA State Series began in 2006.
Lemont posted a score of 96.87 in state finals competition, which consisted of one round this year. Its score is the third-highest by any team at any level in IHSA State Finals history. It took an all-time great effort for Oak Forest to hold off Lemont for the 2021 IHSA Medium Division State Championship, as it established a new state record with its winning score of 97.53. The previous high score of 97.06 was set by Lincoln-Way East when it won the 2014 IHSA Large Division State Championship.
Vernon Hills (96.44), Highland (95.97), Lakes (95.24) and Morris (95.24) rounded out the top five places. All IHSA State Series competition in cheerleading was held virtually during the 2021 season, with teams uploading videos of performances for the judges to evaluate.
Lemont (96.44) just missed winning the IHSA Oak Forest Sectional on March 6, as it finished as the runner-up to Oak Forest (96.80). Evergreen Park (90.51), Riverside-Brookfield (90.18) and Hinsdale South (87.33) rounded out the Medium Division state qualifiers from the IHSA Oak Forest Sectional. Lemont, Oak Forest and Evergreen Park all are members of the South Suburban Conference.
Lemont also finished as the SSC Blue runner-up to Oak Forest earlier this season.
Grady’s team includes seniors Hannah Nagel and Alyiah Ward; juniors Abigail Cliff, Daleigh Johnson-Pawlak, Kaya Myrda, McKenna Phelan, Tess Sublette and Skylar Yabush; sophomores Abigail Nagel, Sydney Nelson, Francesca Rita and Hunter Wilson; and freshmen Fawne Ford, Emily Hunt and Molly Tucker.
Lemont’s cheerleading squad is one of only three athletic programs in school history to win an IHSA team state championship, having done so in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2017 and 2018. The Indians also finished as state runners-up in 2007, 2008, 2013 and 2016, and brought home third-place trophies in 2006 and 2012.
Lemont also has won six IHSA Sectional titles (2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2018, 2020) and four SSC Blue crowns (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017).