2024 Cheerleading Info
On behalf of the Manhattan Patriots Recreational Cheer Organization, we welcome you to our 2024 season! Our organization is proud to be a member of the ICA. The Manhattan Patriots 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 multiple ICA competitions! At the end of the season, we hope that participants have gained an appreciation for the sport of cheer and have developed a sense of community spirit and engagement.
The Patriots Cheerleading organization welcomes cheerleaders from Kindergarten through 8th grade. There are no try-outs, evaluations nor minimum skill requirements for any of the Patriots cheerleading squads.
Our goal is to be able to offer one competition team at every level. If we have enough participants and coaching staff, we may further split the teams down to individual grade levels. All participants must cheer for the grade level they will be in for the 2024-2025 school year. Due to the competitive season and ICA rules, we will not be able to take team requests. Registration for the competitive teams will close on March 1st, and sideline only participation will close on March 31st unless capacity is met sooner. Immediately thereafter, we expect to be able to share news surrounding full coaching staff details, as well as team moms for each group. Coaches will be chosen by the board based upon their coaching experience, background checks, ability to work with children and overall positivity they can bring to the team and program.
- Super Lightweight (SLW): K-1st Grade
Head Coaches (Sideline Only): Becky Stortz, Jodi Sitkowski & Krystal Raymond
Head Coaches (Competition): TBD
- Lightweight (LW): 2nd – 3rd Grade
Head Coaches: Kara Munoz, Lori Weiclaw & Heather Frieri
- Junior Varsity (JV): 4th – 5th Grade
Head Coaches: Rachel Huedepohl, Jaime Pearson & Christy Murawski
- Varsity (JV):6th – 8th Grade
Head Coaches: Courtni Hughes-Bochenek & Ashley Wienke
All communications from the coaching staff and the Patriots Cheerleading Board will be issued via email and/or TeamSnap so use of accurate addresses during the registration period is essential. We recommend that e-mails are checked one hour prior to each game/practice as changes due to weather or unforeseen circumstances can and do arise. Any parent concerns can be addressed first with the squad’s head coach and further escalated to the Cheerleading Board if needed.
Uniform Fitting & Pickup
Cheer fittings and uniform pickup will be held on April 6th at Manhattan Junior High from 11am - 3pm. It is essential that all registered cheerleaders are fit for their uniforms during this session. They will ensure that we have all uniform pieces needed to begin for the season on time. During uniform fittings it is a good idea to have participants wear a leotard or swimsuit to make the process run quickly.
As a reminder, a $350 season uniform deposit fee will be required at that time for each registered child. Checks should be made payable to the Manhattan Patriots and post-dated to December 1, 2024. Additionally, please bring a second check in the amount of $250 for your volunteer deposit written out with the same payee and date details. This second payment is per family, not per participant.
***Neither check will be cashed so long as your uniform is returned in a satisfactory manner, and you complete your required 3 volunteer slots. ***
The Manhattan Patriots Cheer Program will begin practicing for the 2024 season on June 3rd. Practice schedules will be made available as soon as possible. We presently plan for registration to close on March 31st unless we meet maximum capacity sooner and anticipate we will have information to circulate by mid-April at the latest. Per ICA rules, teams can practice up to 9 hours per week throughout the season. We currently intend to have competition teams practice twice a week in June and then three times a week for July and August. Once school starts, we will evaluate the need but most likely maintain a two-three times a week schedule until the culmination of the season. Practice specifics will be announced as soon as they are solidified. While we strive to offer practices within Manhattan specifically, it is possible that practice space might require use of locations within the surrounding areas as well.
The Manhattan Patriots program will utilize both outdoor and indoor space for practices this season. As a reminder, it is perfectly legal and deemed safe to practice outdoors per the ICA, and this practice is what you will find throughout many other local organizations as well.
Required Practice Attire: Comfortable shorts/leggings/sweats (no jeans or jean shorts), gym shoes (no Crocs, sandals/flip flops, or bare feet), no jewelry, no fake nails, and hair must be pulled back.
The Patriots Cheerleading program is very excited to bring our teams to a professionally hosted Skills Clinic where safety and enhancement of stunt fundamentals will be the focus. Attendance is mandatory. The details surrounding date, location and time will be announced prior to the start of the season.
For the 2024 season, all cheerleaders will follow the football schedule and cheer for their appropriate grade level team. Games will be played on Sundays from mid-August through the end of October. A specific schedule will be released once the football program finalizes it in June. All cheerleaders are required to attend and participate in sideline cheerleading for the football games. As a rule of thumb: if the boys play, the girls cheer. Only the Directors may call off a game.
Patriots Cheerleading routines incorporate stunts and tumbling into our half time routines. Each level builds on the previous level. Cheerleaders are placed according to safety and ability, no exceptions. If you do not want your cheerleader to stunt, please notify your coach. Our organization is not specifically certified to provide tumbling lessons. Only cheerleaders with a demonstrated ability to tumble will be able to do so.
*If a cheerleader misses more than 2 scheduled games for the season, they may be unable to participate in competitions. Cheerleaders are expected to arrive 15 minutes prior to every game. Any cheerleaders not at the practice proceeding the game that week and on-site 15 minutes prior to game time will not be allowed to participate in the halftime routine for that day.
Competitive cheerleading is not for the casual athlete. The work ethic and willingness to progress properly is considerable and should be expected with your commitment to join. Competitive cheerleading is a team-based sport that focuses on stunting, tumbling, jumps, dance and performance. At competitions our teams are scored based upon the difficulty, technique and creativity of each of these elements. We’ve found that many participants have found success in enhancing their skillset by partaking in tumbling classes before and/or during their cheer season. Our coaching staff is happy to provide recommendations on local tumbling options if needed.
Participants who registered for competition cheerleading will participate in 3-4 ICA competitions that occur between August and November – specific dates are anticipated to be available by June 1st. Some teams may also advance to the State Competition, which will be held November 14-16th at NIU. Competition practices start in June and are mandatory. We understand that emergencies happen, and coaches are willing to work with you individually; however, to have successful practices attendance is required. Competition guidelines will be strictly enforced. The Manhattan Patriots follow the ICA rules during our competition season. Professional choreography and licensed music will be provided for each team to use during competitions.
It is expected for all cheerleaders to attend all practices and games through the playoff season. Cheerleaders are expected to stay for the entire game. 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 a 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. We certainly recognize that there are extenuating circumstances that may lead to a cheerleader missing practice, but please discuss these with your head coach if they arise.
Our cheer program is based on a team approach. A cheerleader who is consistently absent or late for practices will have her position within the team reallocated so as not to risk the safety of the other participants.
All Manhattan Patriots participants are required to participate in the organization’s fundraiser. The fundraiser for Fall 2024 is a raffle fundraiser with a cost of $150 per child. You will receive tickets during the season from your Team Mom. Selling the tickets will reimburse you for their cost. You simply need to return the ticket stubs for those sold to your Team Mom prior to Homecoming week. Drawing for winners will occur at the Homecoming game and winners need not be present.
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. No one cheer position is any better than another or guaranteed for the entire season.
Athletes are required to be always attentive and respectful to ensure the safety and success of themselves and their teammates. If at any time an athlete is projecting a behavior that is hindering the process of learning, listening and/or the progression of others, they will receive a warning and a parent will be notified. Receipt of 3 warnings may result in the removal of the athlete from the team.
The Manhattan Patriots Cheerleading program provides an exciting experience for young athletes to grow within. With that being said it is important to understand that not all practices are GREAT. As with any competitive sport, some practices are harder than others on athletes. We ask that parents take 24 hours before contacting a coach regarding questions or concerns. Concerns should be brought to the attention of the Coaching Staff and can be further escalated to the Cheerleading Board as needed.
If you have any questions or concerns throughout the season, please feel free to contact the Cheerleading Board directly via email.
Manhattan Patriots Cheerleading Board
Courtni, Corrine and Kevin