Cheerleading: Providence aiming for change at top of state pyramid
By Jeff Vorva For Sun-Times Media January 30, 2013 10:44PM
Providence cheerleaders fine-tune their state tournament routines at a practice Wednesday. | Jeff Vorva~For Sun-Times Media
WHEN: 9 a.m. Friday (small and medium schools preliminaries), 4 p.m. Friday (large and coed schools preliminaries); 11 a.m. Saturday (small and medium school finals), 3 p.m. Saturday (large and coed finals).
WHERE: U.S. Cellular Coliseum, 101 S. Madison St., Bloomington.
AREA TEAMS: Large schools – Providence, Lincoln-Way East, Lincoln-Way North, Plainfield South. Joliet West, Lockport; Coed schools – Bolingbrook; Medium schools – Lemont, Lincoln-Way West, Morris; Small schools – Dwight, Wilmington, Reed-Custer.
DEFENDING CHAMPS: Sandburg (large school), Rich Central (coed), St. Viator (medium school), Columbia (small school). St. Viator did not qualify and Columbia is competing in the medium division.
LINCOLN-WAY TO GO: This is the second year in a row Lincoln-Way East, Lincoln-Way West and Lincoln-Way North qualified for state. Last year, East made it to the final round and finished sixth in the large-school division.
DID YOU KNOW ... Five of the top 10 schools in the large-school division last year were from the Joliet area, including Lockport (second), Providence (fourth), Lincoln-Way East (sixth), Joliet West (seventh) and Plainfield Central (ninth).
Updated: March 2, 2013 7:09AM
David Bowie’s “Changes” will not be the music for Providence’s routine when the Celtics head to the State Cheerleading Meet on Friday and Saturday in Bloomington.
But that’s the theme of 2012-13 for the Celtics.
Coach Laura Duesing is in her third season at the helm for the Celtics, who were third in the state in the large-school division in 2011 and fourth last year.
Most teams would accept that but Duesing thinks her team could move up a few notches.
“This is the season of change,” she said. “We’ve changed the way we’re training and worked on our skills. We want to be a team that is strong across the whole scoresheet. We’re training for our jumps differently and we’ve had good results with that. We’ve always been strong in stunts and tumbling — we’re known for that — but we wanted to bring up all the other areas to be just as strong.”
The coach also changed her philosophy on team leadership.
“We have nine seniors on the team and did not name any captains this year because the girls are very, very close and decided to lead as a group,” she said. “That’s worked out really well. Everyone has been able to take some kind of leadership role this year.”
If the Celtics earn their first state title in the sport, they have to figure out a way to topple defending large-school champ Sandburg. During sectional competition last week, Sandburg won at Riverside-Brookfield with a 94.67, which was the best score in the state. Providence won at Mahomet Seymour with a 93.77. Joliet West (91.70), Lincoln-Way East (91.67), Lincoln-Way North (90.60) and Lockport (91.53) are other area teams that could contend for a title.
Other area sectional champions included Bolingbrook in the coed division (91.80, beating defending champion Rich Central’s 90.50), Morris in the medium division (87.97) and Dwight in the small division (88.53).
This is the eighth year of the state meet and Joliet-area schools have enjoyed success to date. The area won six state titles in that span.
Lemont won three straight medium school titles from 2009 through ’11 before St. Viator stopped the streak a year ago. Lockport won a large-school titles in 2007 and ’08 before Sandburg stopped that streak. Peotone won the small-school division in ’08.