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Area cheer squads tune up for conference, IHSA sectional competition

Courtney Lawless VernHills VernHills Cheerleading Invitational VernHills Sunday January 13 2013. | Joel Lerner~Sun-Times Medi

Courtney Lawless of Vernon Hills at the Vernon Hills Cheerleading Invitational in Vernon Hills on Sunday, January 13, 2013. | Joel Lerner~Sun-Times Media

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Smaller Schools

Lakes 81.73

Vernon Hills 79.63

Big Schools

Stevenson 90.50

Zion-Benton 82.70

Lake Forest 81.70

Coed Division

Waukegan 69.68


Libertyville 74.95

Vernon Hills 72.85

Lakes 71.75


Zion-Benton 74.98

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Updated: March 17, 2013 7:50PM

Now, it gets serious.

For many area high school cheer squads, conference competitions are coming up this weekend, followed by IHSA sectionals.

And if you don’t score in the sectional, your dream of competing on the biggest stage of all — at the state tournament — will die for another year.

To sharpen their skills for the big events ahead, several area schools competed Sunday at the Vernon Hills Invitational.

And, generally speaking, the squads performed well enough to foster hope that advancement to state down the road is a possibility.

Here’s a look at how some of the area teams fared:

Lakes Eagles

The team had some struggles with their early tumbling passes. The lifts were shaky but the girls showed great effort holding onto them.

The Eagles avoided major mistakes but would certainly like to clean up their routine heading into NSC competition.

Coach Brittany Wiegel said:

“We had to put in a new flyer this week, so considering the adjustments we made I think they did a nice job. Our girls also did a really good job fighting to hang on (to the lifts).

“We’ve increased our tumbling difficulty by adding some layouts and fulls. Landing our tumbling skills is one of the big things we’ll be working on this week.

“They’re coming along, not just in their skills, but as a team. They’re picking each other up and helping each other out in a positive way. It’s great to see.”

Zion-Benton Zee-Bees

The had a spill on an early tumbling pass and a drop on a lift mid-routine, but it was overall a strong performance for the Bees.

Coach Linda Norman said:

“They made some unusual mistakes today, but I’m proud of them. They’ve been working really hard, and I think it’s shown. We need to correct those mistakes (before the conference meet), but I’m confident we’ll get it.”

Waukegan Bulldogs

There are seven boys on the team. The Bulldogs gave a very solid performance overall with a few sloppy moments scattered throughout.

Coach Stacey Bey-McKee said:

“We still have some things to improve on before sectionals, but it was a lot better than our performance at Stevenson (last month). We did pretty good at the CSL competition (on Wednesday) but had some legalities that hurt us.

“We definitely need to brush up some things, but overall this was one of our best performances.”

Vernon Hills Cougars

The home team was ravaged by the flu, as seven team members were ill, which skewed the team score.

Stevenson Patriots

Predictably, the Pats team was the star, showing off its tremendous technical precision.

Coach Jessie Murphy said:

“We’ve made some changes to the routine and we’ve been working hard to clean things up. I’m proud of them. We just need to keep up the same level of effort in practice and continue to improve.

“We’re taking it one contest at a time and really focusing on achieving our goals for that week. We want to keep getting better as a team.”

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