Welcome to the 2020
Orland Park Pioneers Cheer Program
On behalf of the Orland Park Pioneers Youth Cheer Organization, we welcome you to the 2020 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 this year. Cheer registration closes on June 1st! Registration must be completed and paid in full by June 1st.
We will have 4-5 teams for the 2020 cheer season:
Flag Cheerleaders- Kindergarten
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 2020-2021 school year. Due to the competitive season and IRCA rules, we will not be able to take team requests.
Flag Cheer Fees:
$175 (resident) $250 (nonresident) *Register BEFORE April 1st for a $25 discount
*Flag (Kindergarten) Cheerleaders will not be competing this year
The fee of $175.00 for Flag Cheerleaders covers the rental of the cheer uniform, 3-hour cheer clinic with professional coaches, homecoming outfit, practice t-shirt, game day cheer bow and breast cancer awareness bow. Parents will need to purchase a pair of white cheer shoes. In the past, many of our cheerleaders’ shoes were purchased from Payless (approximate shoe cost was $20).
1st Grade through 8th Grade Fees:
Football Cheerleader Fees- $345 (resident) $420 (nonresident)
*Register BEFORE April 1st for a $50 discount
Competition Season- $185 (resident and nonresident)
The football season fee of $345.00 covers the rental of the cheer uniform, summer cheer clinic with professional cheer coaches, cheerleading shoes, homecoming outfit, practice t-shirt, game day cheer bow, breast cancer awareness bow, and other misc. cheer items.
The competitive cheer season fee of $185.00 covers the cost of the athlete’s admission into 3 IRCA competitions (not including the State Competition), an 8 hour cheer clinic with professional instructors, practice facility rental with competition cheer mats, competition hair bow, competition music, and competition extras for the athletes.
Cheer fittings will be held in June. An exact date will be scheduled at a later time.
It is essential that ALL registered cheerleaders are fit for their uniform on this day. 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 fitting day, the cheerleader will be fit for the following items:
-Football season uniform vest
-Football season uniform skirt
-Long sleeve cropped bodysuit (if needed)
-Cheer spankies (if needed)
-Warm up jacket (if needed)
-Warm up pants (if needed)
*Grades 1st-8th grade cheerleaders are required to have a warm-up suit, spankies, and a crop which are not included in the registration cost. If you have the attire from the past years, the pieces have not changed, so you are not required to purchase the items again.
** If registering for competition season, all competition girls will need to purchase a competition uniform for the season. The uniform will only be worn for competitions and will be guaranteed to be used for 2 seasons. Girls will be fit for the competition uniform on the June fitting day, and the uniform needs to be paid in full at that time. The cost of the uniform will be approximately $100-$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, 2020. 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 July 22nd. Practices will (tentatively) be held at Centennial Park until we go indoors at the District 135 schools. Practice schedule will be as follows:
Kindergarten– 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 3-4 days a week for the remainder of the season. When we go indoors (after homecoming which is typically mid-September), practice times will be adjusted to 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm.
** Please note that Flag Cheerleaders practice times may vary from time to time. This will be a coach’s decision.
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 2020 season, all cheerleaders (those entering Kindergarten-8th grades in 2020) will follow the football schedule and cheer for their appropriate team. Flag cheerlears 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.
Football Only Cheer
Football only cheer is an option for athletes who are not interested in being a part of any competition cheer season. We understand there are athletes who want to be a part of cheer, but have other sport commitments, clubs, or just do not have the extra time to devote to competition cheer. Football only cheer is NOT meant for athletes to cheer with the Pioneers during football season and compete with another organization. This particular situation can pose many problems for the team and the coaches. Cheering for another organization could mean that the Pioneers would take a back seat to the competititve organization and we need our athetes 100% committed. This also becomes a conflict of interest for both teams that the athlete is a part of. At the Pioneers, our hope is that all our athletes are 100% committed to our cheer organization.
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 three IRCA competitions that run between October and November. Some teams may advance to the State Competition, which will be held December 6th-8th at the Sears Centre 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. As courtesy to the coaches and fairness to the team, it is expected that parents communicate any vacation plans, or any other situation 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 sport season, 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 my 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 instructed by professional coaches. 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 3-hour clinic split over 2 days. 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 half-time 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 2020 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, 2020. 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 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 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: $50 per athlete (family option-multiple children in the program will be as follows: $50 first child and $25 each additional 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 2020 cheer season!
Orland Park Pioneers Cheer Athletic Department
Annette Rodriguez: Cheer Athletic Director
Thora Conroy: Cheer Athletic Director
Jacki Bernardi: Assistant Cheer Athletic Director