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Cheerleading: Sandburg aiming for state repeat

Sandburg captains Courtney Conway (from left) Katie Cardinal SamanthFrank are hoping make it back-to-back state cheerleading trophies. | Jeff Vorva~For

Sandburg captains Courtney Conway (from left), Katie Cardinal and Samantha Frank are hoping to make it back-to-back state cheerleading trophies. | Jeff Vorva~For Sun-Times Media

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State
Cheerleading

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.

SOUTHLAND TEAMS: Large schools – Sandburg, Marist, Lockport, Stagg, Providence, Lincoln-Way East, Lincoln-Way North; Medium schools – Tinley Park, Oak Forest, Lemont, Lincoln-Way West, Bremen; Coed schools – Rich Central, Homewood-Flossmoor, Thornwood, Argo.

DEFENDING CHAMPS: Sandburg (large school), Rich Central (coed), St. Viator (medium school), Columbia (small school). St. Viator did not qualify this year and Columbia is competing in the medium division.

MISSED IT BY THAT MUCH: Andrew missed qualifying by .27 of a point in the large-school division, Rich South missed making it in the medium-school division by .20. Chicago Christian missed in the small-school division by .37.

DID YOU KNOW ... Sandburg has made it to Saturday’s top-10 finals every season in the seven-year history of the meet.

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Updated: March 2, 2013 7:10AM



Sandburg has one of the most impressive cheerleading resumes in the Southland.

The Eagles have won four national championships. They also have claimed three state titles, more than any other school in the state in the large-school division.

Yet, the Eagles have not been able to put together back-to-back state titles. They won the state’s inaugural crown in 2006, and added titles in ’09 and ’12. They hope to stop that trend of a title followed by two non-title seasons Friday when they join 15 other teams from the Southland area in the state meet in Bloomington.

“We really don’t talk about defending or repeating,” Eagles coach Mike Bruce said. “This a whole different team with a whole new group of kids, so I never want them to feel like they have to live up to a group before them. They just need to be the best they can be.

“We’re all human, and it’s definitely a driving force for them but we don’t talk about it.”

The Eagles think some of their best competition will come from teams from the south suburbs.

“It’s tough to win a state championship,” Sandburg senior Katie Cardinal said. “This is a very competitive area. We need to compete against the scoresheet and not anyone else.”

The Eagles enter the state meet with the best sectional score of 94.67. Area powers Providence (93.77) and Marist (92.47) are teams to watch as well.

In the medium-school division, Tinley Park won the Riverside-Brookfield Sectional title with an 87.63. Columbia, which won three straight small-school titles from 2010 to ’12, moved up in classification and rang up an 89.77. Oak Forest is a contender, as is Lemont, which won three straight titles from 2009 through ’11 before St. Viator snapped the streak a year ago.

In the coed division, Rich Central will defend its state title but will have to contend with a loaded field that includes Bolingbrook. The Raiders scored a 91.80 at the Mahomet Seymour Sectional while Rich Central took second with a 90.50.

In the first seven years the IHSA hosted a state meet, the Southland recorded at least one state title every year, and four of the seven years had two champs.

Southland teams won 10 out of a possible 14 state titles in the large and medium divisions.



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