Welcome to the 2021
Orland Park Pioneers Cheer Program
On behalf of the Orland Park Pioneers Youth Cheer Organization, we welcome you to the 2021 season. Our organization is proud to be a member of IRCA and part of the River Valley Football League. The Orland Pioneers Cheer Program is committed to developing good sportsmanship, self-esteem, team spirit, teamwork, and discipline. The season will be spent, learning the fundamentals of cheer, cheering for weekly football games, working together as a team, and an option to participate in IRCA competitions. At the end of the season, we hope the girls have gained an appreciation for the sport of cheer and will continue their cheerleading career throughout high school and college.
Online cheer registration is now open. Please check the Pioneers homepage for online registration details. All cheerleaders MUST register online.
We will have 3 teams for the 2021 cheer season:
Super Lightweight Cheerleaders
Junior Varsity Cheerleaders
*Team breakdown by grade level will be based on final registration numbers. After April 1st, we will make the determination of the grade level breakdown per team.
**All girls will be cheering for the grade level they will be in for the 2021-2022 school year. Due to the competitive season and IRCA rules, we will not be able to take team requests.
1st Grade through 8th Grade Fees:
Football Cheerleader Fees- $345 (resident) $420 (nonresident)
*Register BEFORE April 1st for a $50 discount
Competition Season- $200 (resident and nonresident)
The football season fee of $345.00 covers the rental of the cheer uniform, summer cheer clinic, cheerleading shoes, homecoming attire, practice t-shirt, game day cheer bow, breast cancer awareness bow, and other misc. cheer items.
The competitive cheer season fee of $200 covers the cost of the athlete’s admission into 2 IRCA competitions (not including the State Competition), an 8 hour cheer choreography clinic, practice facility rental with competition cheer mats, competition hair bow, competition music, and competition extras for the athletes.
Cheer fittings will be held in July. An exact date will be scheduled at a later time. It is essential that ALL registered cheerleaders are fit for their uniform during these fittings. This will ensure that we have all uniform pieces needed to begin the season. During uniform fittings, it is a good idea to have the cheerleader wear a leotard to make the fitting run quickly. Bathroom space is limited for trying on the uniforms.
On the uniform fitting day, the cheerleader will be fit for the following items:
Uniform Fitting Day (held at the Cultural Arts Center or Franklin Loebe Center)
-Football season uniform vest
-Football season uniform skirt
-Competition season uniform (purchased by parents)
Fittings Will Include:
-Long sleeve cropped bodysuit (if needed)
-Cheer spankies (if needed)
-Warm up jacket (if needed)
-Warm up pants (if needed)
-Practice gear (optional)
*Grades 1st-8th grade cheerleaders are required to have a new warm-up suit, spankies, and a crop which are not included in the registration cost. If you have spankies and a crop from the past years, you are not required to purchase the items again
** If registering for competition season, all competition girls will need a competition uniform for the season. This will be an additional fee, and will need to be purchased by the athlete. This will be the same uniform our athletes used during the 2019 competition season. The uniform will only be worn for competitions. Girls will be fit for the competition uniform on the July fitting day, and the uniform needs to be paid in full at that time. The cost of the uniform will be approximately $135.
A $250 football season uniform deposit fee will be required for each registered child at the time of uniform fittings. Checks should be made payable to Orland Park Pioneers and post-dated December 1, 2021. These checks will not be cashed; however, they will be held until uniform return. When the uniform has been inspected and turned in on-time, the $250 check will be returned to you. If uniform pieces are missing and/or uniform is turned in damaged, the check will be cashed.
Orland Park Pioneers Cheer Program will begin practicing at the end of July. The projected start date is set for Monday, July 26th. Practices will (tentatively) be held at Centennial Park until we go indoors at the District 135 schools. Practice schedule will be as follows:
4th– 8th Grade practices are from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm Monday – Thursday in July until the start of school. When school begins in August, the practice schedule will change to 3 days a week for the remainder of the season. When we go indoors (after homecoming which is typically mid-September), practice will continue for competition girls only and times will be adjusted to 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm.
K-3rd Grade will practice 3 days a week from 6:00-8:00pm. Football only girls will practice 2 of the 3 scheduled days. When we go indoors practice will be 6:30-8:30pm
** Please note that K-3rd grade practices may change slightly as needed. This will be a coach’s decision.
** Additional practice days may be added to prepare for competitions. This will be decided by the individual team coaches.
Practice Attire: Comfortable shorts/sweats (no jeans or jean shorts), gym shoes (no sandals/flip flops, or bare feet), no bare midriff tops/crop tops, no jewelry, no fake nails, and hair must be pulled back.
For the 2021 season, all cheerleaders (those entering Kindergarten-8th grades in 2021) will follow the football schedule and cheer for their appropriate team. Flag cheerleaders will cheer for all home games, and 1st- 8th grade cheerleaders will cheer at all home games, away games and are expected to cheer even during inclement weather. Games can be played on either a Saturday or Sunday. A schedule will be out at the start of the season. All cheerleaders are required to participate in the football season and cheer during playoff games (depending upon your team schedule). Cheerleaders are expected to arrive 30 minutes prior to every game.
With the exception of flag cheerleaders, all cheerleaders (grades 1st-8th), are highly encouraged to participate in our competition season. Cheerleaders have the option to opt out of competition at the time of registration, but can add competition at a later date (cut-off date for adding competition season this year will be June 1st). During competition season, cheerleaders will participate in two IRCA competitions that run between October and November. Some teams may advance to the State Competition, which will be held the first weekend in December at the Now Arena in Hoffman Estates. You must be available for all competition dates to compete. Competition practices start in September and are mandatory (indoor practice time and locations will be adjusted accordingly). We understand that emergencies happen, and coaches are willing to work with you individually; however, in order to have successful practices, attendance is absolutely required. Additionally, the Friday before each competition, a full-dress practice will be added to the calendar. Competition guidelines will be strictly enforced. Orland Park Pioneers follows the IRCA rules during our competition season.
It is expected for all girls to attend all practices and games through the playoff season. Cheerleaders are required to stay for the entire game. Dismissal after half time will not be allowed. Missing practices or games is always a concern. If only one girl is missing, we cannot practice stunts or dance parts properly since every girl plays an important role in the routine. We ask that vacations or out of town travel are not planned during the cheer season. As courtesy to the coaches and fairness to the team, it is expected that parents communicate any situations that may require the athlete to miss practices or games to the head coach well ahead of time. When parents choose to take family vacations during a sportsseason, it must be understood that the time missed by the athlete may affect team performance. Athletes who missed practices or games related to vacation time can have their spot in a routine adjusted. Medical excuses are the only excused absences considered. Should a cheerleader have 3 absences from either games or practices, she can be dismissed from the squad without a refund. We certainly recognize that there are extenuating circumstances that may lead to a cheerleader missing practices, please discuss these with your head coach if they arise.
Mandatory Cheer Clinic
During the first 2 weeks of August, all cheer squads will be attending a cheer clinic. This clinic will be split over 2 consecutive days. Competition cheerleaders will attend 8 hours (4 hours per day), and football only girls will not need to attend both days of the clinic. More information regarding football only cheerleaders will be given out at the beginning of the season. Flag Cheerleaders will attend a 2-3 hour clinic. The days and times will be assigned at a later date. During the cheer clinic, the cheerleaders will work on stunts, tumbling, jumps, and leave with a portion of a competition routine completed. It is a mandatory clinic that will benefit all cheerleaders for the football and competition season. We are very excited to offer this cheer clinic for the 2021 season.
Every Pioneer family is required to volunteer a total of 4 hours during the season. A family volunteer fee of $200.00 will be required at the time of uniform fittings. A check can be made payable to Orland Park Pioneers in the amount of $200.00 and postdated to December 1, 2021. If all volunteer hours are met, then the check in the amount of $200.00 will be returned at the end of the season. There will be no partial refunds. If the volunteer hours are not met during the season, then the volunteer check for $200.00 will be cashed when the season ends. There will be plenty of opportunities to meet these hours before and during the season. More details will be posted on the website at a later date.
All Orland Park Pioneer participants will be required to participate in the organization’s annual fundraiser. The fundraiser takes place at the beginning of the season. If you choose to not participate in selling fundraiser items, there will be a buy-out option for a set fee that was determined by The Board. The fundraiser buy-out will be: $100 per athlete (family option-multiple children in the program will be as follows: $100 first child and $50 for the second child and $25 for the third child ). More information will be given out by the head coaches at the beginning of the season.
Cell Phones or any other devices are not allowed during practices and games. If cheerleaders must have these items with them, they must stay in their bag for the duration of the game or practice. The coaching staff is not responsible for holding onto, or possible loss of electronic devices, or any other personal items. If a parent must get in touch with their child during a game or practice, please call your coaches.
All routines and stunt groups will be chosen at the discretion of the coaching staff with the safety of each cheerleader being a priority. Every member of the squad and position given is an integral part of the team. Part of the coach’s responsibility is to do what is best for the team and stunt groups as a whole. No one cheer position is any better than another or guaranteed for the entire season.
Mandatory Parent Meeting
When the season begins, the cheer athletic department will host a mandatory parent meeting. At this meeting, we will review the expectations for the cheerleaders and parents, we will explain important rules for IRCA, we will discuss volunteer hours, and other important information. The date and time are TBD. Please make yourself available for this meeting when the date is released.
If you have any further questions, feel free to contact us at the following email:
We are looking forward to a great and rewarding 2021 cheer season!
Orland Park Pioneers Cheer Athletic Department
Jacki Bernardi, Cheer Athletic Director
Annette Rodriguez, Assistant Cheer Athletic Director