There is no more successful cheerleading program in the history of the IHSA State Series than Lemont High School’s, and that tradition continues in the new decade. Head coach Bree Grady’s team won the IHSA Joliet Central Sectional on February 1 to advance to the 2020 IHSA Medium Division Cheerleading State Finals, which will be contested at Grossinger Motors Arena in Bloomington on Friday, February 7, and Saturday, February 8. A six-time state champion, Lemont not only won its sixth sectional crown, but also secured its 15th state finals berth in as many seasons.
Lemont’s cheerleading squad is one of only two 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 has won 12 state trophies in 14 previous state finals appearances, and never has finished lower than fifth in state finals competition.
Lemont pulled out a narrow victory in sectional competition after posting a score of 89.58. Oak Forest (89.29), Tinley Park (88.31), Chicago Brooks (87.04) and Providence Catholic (86.17) rounded out the Medium Division state qualifiers from the IHSA Joliet Central Sectional. Lemont, Oak Forest and Tinley Park all are members of the South Suburban Conference.
Lemont’s previous IHSA Sectional titles came in 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2018.
Grady’s team includes seniors Hailey Dennis, Kyra Feltz, Haley Nash, Claire O’Malley and Jenna Valenti; juniors Madison Dunbar, Hannah Nagel, Angelina Rita and Alyiah Ward; sophomores Abigail Cliff, Daleigh Johnson-Pawlak, Kaya Myrda, McKenna Phelan, Tess Sublette and Skylar Yabush; and freshmen Reese Dunbar, Abigail Nagel, Francesca Rita, Danielle Scumaci and Hunter Wilson.
The preliminary rounds for both the Small and Medium Divisions will begin at 9 a.m. on Friday, with entries from the two divisions alternating. Lemont will be the final team to compete when it takes the mat at 1:10 p.m. The finals for the Medium Division will take place at 11 a.m. on Saturday, with the awards ceremony scheduled to follow at 1:15 p.m.
Tickets for the IHSA State Finals will be available at the door, and are $10 for both children and adults (children in hand are free) each session.
Cheerleading is the sixth Lemont High School sport to be represented in IHSA State Finals competition this year. Lemont was 12th at the IHSA Class 2A Girls’ Cross Country State Finals; Nick Kania and TJ Polen competed at the IHSA Class 2A Boys’ Cross Country State Finals; the dance team competed at the IHSA Class 2A Competitive Dance State Finals; Paulius Malcius was fifth at the IHSA Class 2A Boys’ Golf State Finals; and Isabella Calcagno participated at the IHSA Girls’ Swimming State Finals