Every great success story contains a element of surprise. Without it, the success lacks motivation. At least that's what David Erlenbaugh, Head Coach of the Lemont High School Varsity Cheerleaders believes. And his bold move to support his theory just may have won him the Illinois State championship.
It was the second week in December, time to order cheerleading uniforms for the upcoming competition season. Since Coach Erlenbaugh knew he wouldn't have time to chance the ordering mishaps of the past - delayed ship dates, color mistakes and poor customer service - he abandoned his previous cheer manufacturer and looked, instead, to GK Cheer to uniform his talented cheerleading squad. He knew he could count on Kyle Gadke, GK Cheer Representative and former coaching acquaintance, for assistance. Kyle supplied David with a GK Cheer catalog and the rest is history. Here's how it all went down.
Lemont HS Cheerleaders pose with Coach Bree Grady at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington, Ill.
"I first fell for the incredible special order designs, thinking, 'why do we need custom Cheer uniforms when these look so great?' That was a year ago, and we debuted our new cheer unis at last year's state tournament. Now, I'm not here to brag, but Lemont High School in Illinois is the ONLY team to land on the podium in the 9 years since the Illinois High School Association declared cheerleading a varsity sport, so we are fairly well known.
This year, Kyle and I got a jump on the new uniform designs a bit earlier. The designers at GK were incredible to work with, and they developed 3 different styles. Each one featured it's own great element, and we wanted it all. So, with the help of the designers we merged the 3 together. Our theme this year was Fear the Flame, and our logo is inset into a flame. We missed winning the title by 0.12 points last year and this was going to "set a fire" under everyone to reclaim it.
During the season, I had decided to tell my cheerleaders that we just didn't have money in the budget to order these custom uniforms (they were surprisingly very affordable!), but that we might get them next season. With 8 graduating seniors, 5 of which had been on our last championship team, I felt bad for them, but they understood.
Then, without their knowledge, we ordered the cheerleading uniforms anyway (what's a little fib if it's told with good intentions!), in the hopes that they would, indeed, be delivered before we left for our state tournament this year. We were one of the favorites to win, and if we could debut another new uniform, that could be perfect motivation for the team.
Without the team's knowledge, the uniforms arrived more than a week before we left. Traditionally, the Lemont coaches bestow small gifts to each of the team members before States. At our motivational meeting the night before the preliminary competition, Coach Bree asked two of the girls if they could help her bring down the boxes of State gifts. As the rest of the team and I were continuing with our chat, Bree returned. The talk was getting to a good roll, but when Bree walked into the room, everyone's attention was on her. She opened the door to reveal her two 'helpers' wearing the brand new cheer uniforms, along with perfectly matched custom bows. The entire team screamed in unison! They wanted those new white GK uniforms so badly, many were crying.
The day of preliminaries arrived and we ROCKED the new GK cheer unis at the stadium! Even my son (our choreographer), sitting completely across the stadium, lost it when we entered the floor, saying, "Dad, those uniforms are EVERYTHING!"
When we moved up to Finals, our uniforms were, again, a big topic of discussion among competing teams and social media. Even Kyle, our GK Representative, began receiving texts and emails about our uniforms. They are so DISTINCTLY GK Elite! It was here that my Lemont Ladies performed a FLAWLESS routine, in our FLAWLESS new GK cheer uniforms, to take our FOURTH State Division Championship in six years!"
Lemont Cheerleaders earned and accepted their award in a classic White DryTech, custom leotard and a matching custom, low rise skirt. The cheer leo is one of the hottest trends in high school cheerleading right now because the girls love the fit and comfort of it and the coaches love the creative possibilities that it inspires. In this case, creative flames flowed into the arms of this 'Fear the Flame' leo in the form of intense Navy and Gold Mystique inferno lines that glow with Clear SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS. The Navy and Gold Mystique intricate strappy back and the simple design lines in the skirt give this clean uniform an interesting and seamless look that Lemont cheerleaders can look and feel like champions in.
Sometimes the Next Level is just a cheer uniform away. Go get your win! Create your own cheerleading uniform today at our Special Order Design Studio, or contact your local GK Cheer Representative for personalized inspiration.
GK Cheer. The Next Level.