Spirit Cheer Program Overview & Highlights

Welcome to the Park Ridge Spirit Cheer Program! We are looking forward to a great season and to help our young athletes get the most out of Spirit Cheer. Our goal is for your child to walk away with good cheerleading fundamentals and new skills, high self-esteem, new friends, and a smile!

Park Ridge Spirit Cheerleaders cheer recreationally for the Park Ridge Youth Football teams during an 8-week fall season (September-October). We are not a competitive cheer squad and we welcome all girls at any level of experience. Our focus is on teamwork, respect, and positive attitudes. Cheerleading is one of the fastest-growing sports and Park Ridge Football and Cheer are very proud of our well-established cheerleading program.

Please reach out to the Spirit Cheer Directors,

Shannon Hickey and Lauren Prandato with any questions via [email protected]

Spirit Cheer Program Structure

Park Ridge youth cheerleading welcomes athletes in kindergarten through 5th grade, although most of our cheerleaders are kindergarten through 3rd graders.

Our teams are comprised of athletes from Park Ridge, Niles, Chicago, and all surrounding neighborhoods. We focus on teaching cheerleading skills such as cheers, chants, jumps, some stunts (if age-appropriate), dance routines, and teamwork.

Spirit Cheer Program Details

Squad placement is determined by the Directors of Cheer. Squads will be formed by grade with a maximum of 15 and a minimum of 12 cheerleaders. No exceptions.

Returning cheerleaders will most likely be placed with the squad they were on the previous year unless otherwise requested.

Last year our program welcomed our highest enrollment to date- 400 cheerleaders! While we were blown away at the number of athletes joining our program, we quickly realized the many teams and/or teammate requests are nearly impossible to grant to every family.

Please note, as of 2024, we will grant TWO teammate or coach request per registrant.

In general, teams are formed by school then by grade. We do our very best to group students this way to make choosing practice days/times easier on coaches. With this method, squads may have a wide age range of athletes.

As stated above, cheer coaches are the only individuals given the opportunity to choose which football team their squad will cheer for this season. Parent requests to have siblings cheer for specific football teams cannot be honored. If you need your children on the same schedule, please consider coaching.

Spirit Cheer squads will practice one day a week for approximately one hour. Practices typically begin two weeks before the first game (games begin the weekend after Labor Day). Practice times and locations will be determined by the squad coach. We know that many of our cheerleaders are involved in other sports and activities. Each coach will work with squad members to come up with a practice time and day that will work for everyone.

Practice Attire: comfortable clothing (no jeans); sneakers (no sandals); hair pulled back. No jewelry, no candy, no gum. All cheerleaders should bring a water bottle to practice.

Cheer season begins at the end of August to the end of October. The season kicks off with a whole program orientation in collaboration with Maine South Varsity cheerleaders in August. Our eight-week season begins with the first game the weekend after Labor Day.

Spirit cheerleaders cheer on the sidelines of the Park Ridge youth Flag Football teams. We are not a competitive squad, and tryouts are not required.

Squads are comprised of a Maximum of 15 cheerleaders. Teammate and coach requests can be submitted during registration- although not a guarantee.

Flag football games are held on Friday evenings and Saturday morning/afternoons throughout six local Park Ridge parks. Games are one hour long. 

Inclement Weather: We typically cheer in the rain. If the football players are playing, the cheerleaders are cheering. Games may be delayed or canceled due to lightning or strong storms. Head Coaches will communicate with their squad via email or text regarding canceled games.

Park Ridge Spirit Cheerleaders wear Black, White and Silver uniforms. Cheer uniform tops and skirts are borrowed to athletes each season with a $75 deposit check. Checks only- no exceptions. Checks are not cashed; they will be returned or destroyed at the end of the season when both the top and skirt are returned in excellent condition. Each cheer squad will also have a team set of pom poms to use as needed. Spirit Cheer will hold a minimum of TWO uniform fittings, usually mid-May, and early August. It is your responsibility to attend a fitting. Athletes will leave with their uniform directly from the fitting they attend.

Other items typically needed for the season are black shortie-shorts, white sneakers, white socks, white long sleeve turtleneck, and black leggings for those cold weather days. These items are purchased by the participant.

Squad members are required to maintain and uphold the reputation of the Park Ridge Spirit Cheerleaders through their own conduct and squad spirit. Our participants are required to be courteous, polite, friendly, and try to have a smile for everybody. All cheers and chants shall be of a positive and sportsmanlike manner.

This camp is SOLD OUT for 2024!

Spirit Cheer will once again host our very popular Summer Camp! Spirit Cheer camp is run by our Park Ridge Competitive Senior Team Cheerleaders and coaches- Coach Lindsay and Coach Katie.

Camp welcomes incoming kindergarteners through incoming 5th graders (Fall 2024) and will be held at St. Andrews school gym. The last day of camp will be a showcase in which parents will be invited to view routines and skills the girls worked on throughout the week!

Camp will be held Monday, July 15th – Friday, July 19th at St. Andrews Lutheran school in Park Ridge from 9am – 12pm.

The cost of Summer Camp will be $145 which includes a summer camp T-shirt and cheer bow. Registration will be through TeamSnap. Please note- the maximum amount of participants is 125 cheerleaders- register early to ensure your spot!

Head and Assistant Coaches

Our squads run ONE HUNDRED PERCENT on parent volunteers. Coaches lead by example, inspiring team members to excel. They motivate and encourage participants, instilling discipline, teamwork, and a positive attitude.

Prior coaching or cheerleading experience is not required. We provide coaches with the groundwork needed to have a successful season, including videos of cheers, routines, and jumps.

The biggest perk of coaching a cheer squad is the ability to choose which flag football team your squad will cheer for during the season. For example, a cheer coach may have a daughter on her cheer squad and chose to cheer for the flag football team her son is on!
If you are interested in coaching a cheer squad this fall, please mark that information in your child’s registration, as well as send an email to [email protected]. It is extremely important to know in advance as to how many coaches we will have for the season. Assistant coaches are needed as well! Remember, no experience needed!

What We Teach Student-Athletes


We teach our players the importance of having respect for all players coaches and referees, as well as following all the rules. 


All our players learn and the importance of how to be a part of a team so that he or she and his or her teammates can all succeed. 


We not only teach our players the importance of hard work to improve but also that it is fun to accomplish the goals they set. 


We teach our young athletes how to be well-mannered individuals on and off the field so they represent our organization with pride.