Shelbyville gym was packed on Wednesday afternoon for a farewell performance of the jazzy routine used by the SHS Cheer Team to capture the 2006 IHSA State Championship crown. The cheer team and coaches officially carried the huge trophy en masse to present it to Principal Kevin Ross for addition to the display case.

“The last time we gathered in this gymnasium for a state championship team, it was about ten years ago, 1996, for the Shelbyville basketball team,” began Tim Finks. “Today, we gather for another state championship, the 2006 Shelbyville High School Cheer Team.” Finks was present to read a congratulatory note from Mayor Gary Crowder thanking the team for their hard work and contribution to SHS sports.

The high-energy cheer routine lasted less than three minutes but took several months to perfect. At the end of the performance, all in attendance in SHS gym rose to a standing ovation.

The SHS Cheer Team took the championship in Small Varsity Division, on March 4. Out of 25 finalist teams, the Lady Rams advanced to the top ten, beating out Peotone and Carterville to take the top spot. They made history as the first IHSA State Champions for Competitive Cheerleading as the IHSA only adopted Competitive Cheerleading as a sport this year.

Cheer coach Shelly Bridges said, “We have worked really hard this year to accomplish this. No other cheerleading team in SHS history has won the state championship. We can’t thank the people who supported us enough, especially the parents.”

All along the wall of the SHS gym hang the banner listing the awards and titles of teams past. Baseball, football, cross country, track, tennis, and volleyball are all well represented. But not cheerleading or softball. SHS Athletic Director Rick Allen pointed to the blank cheerleading banner. “Soon, we will have the state championship on the cheerleading banner, that leaves only softball.”

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