Keep your head high, your bow higher, and your self-confidence the highest…
Cheerleading is a true sport and our ranks are filled with some of the most energetic, talented, and committed athletes in this Town!
Our youth cheerleading program involves so much more than just cheering our home teams to victory or performing crowd-pleasing dances or stunts. Our program provides many physical, mental and emotional benefits while teaching our girls (and boys!) the important life lessons of preparation, dedication and working together as a team - unrivaled practice for the larger arena of life!
Come the fall, not only do our cheerleaders grace the sidelines at our YAC Football Games with their enthusiasm, athleticism and beauty - they bring that same level of grace and intensity to competition mats all over the Taconic region!
Yorktown has a proud history of accomplishments both on those sidelines and on the big, blue competition mats. However, all of this has been and will continue to be the culmination of months of hard work and dedication by our tremendous volunteer coaching staff and of course our amazing athletes.
Commitment is the key! Athletes in this sport begin practices the second week of August and our season continues until the end of November. Please know that while our program is fairly flexible, fun and rewarding, cheerleading is a real commitment and cannot be done on a part time basis!
Attendance and positive participation at all practices (summer and fall) is critical to the success of each squad. Routines, dances, stunts cannot be choreographed or learned and performed if the full squad is not in attendance.
As such, cheerleaders are encouraged to come to practice even if they cannot cheer due to an injury or minor illness (cramps, allergies, etc). That way they can still learn what’s new and where they fit in to their team activities and most importantly support their team!
YAC Cheerleading wholeheartedly welcomes all athletes who will treat their coaches and teammates with kindness, respect and dignity.
We respect the YAC Code of Conduct and we have a ZERO TOLERANCE Policy and will be enforcing the Code of Conduct at all times.
At YAC Cheer, we believe in the 7C’s to Building a ‘Winning’ Team:
5. Contagious Energy/Enthusiasm
What an amazing opportunity we all have this year as coaches, parents and cheerleaders to continue to redefine and reenergize this program and all of our individual teams!
I am 100% certain we have it right this year with the first and most important piece towards winning – our coaches! Our volunteer staff this year are AH-MAZ-ING!
Also, YAC Cheer is all about having both sideline sass and class! At YAC Cheer, winning doesn’t mean coming in first, second or even third place everywhere we go, it means building teams and youth athletes who have character, commitment, compassion and enthusiasm.
With these qualities and goals always present, we feel that Yorktown wins every time and every place regardless of the numbers on those scoring sheets!
You’ve gotta start with coaches who have these qualities first and then it trickles down fast!
Cheer Loud & Proud,
YAC Cheerleading Commissioner
2018 Cheer Basics
- For the 2018 season, we have decided we will be following the NFHS Cheer Rules.
- We are starting August 13th with a 5-week Summer Camp which is our conditioning, training and choreography camp which we have before the Fall Schedule sets in on September 17th.
- No paperwork is required this year, just certifications built into our Registration process. All info is kept confidential.
- All YAC adult coaches are subject to a criminal background check.
- All coaches will have to take a live Coaching Class/Certification through NFHS/ACAAC and we will offer stunting trainings on select Wednesday evenings in June.
- At least one coach per team is required to be CPR and First Aid Trained - we typically have all of our coaches certified.
- Team registration is open (no tryouts) and must be done on First Come/First Serve with typical team-specific maximum of 25-30 per squad.
- Our Yorktown Cheer Exhibition will be Saturday, November 3rd at 7:00PM and our Yorktown Cheer Competition will be Sunday, November 4th at 9AM.
- Our teams will be participating in competitions on the weekends of 10/27-28, 11/3-4, 11/10-11, and 11/17-18 (subject to change but 90% on)
Some New YAC Cheer Program Basics
- Registration will open April 1st and will end May 15th. Registration is first come/first serve. Please register early as there are caps to the number of youth we can/will accept per team.
- We were VERY successful with our more flexible, less time during the weekdays practice schedule so we will be repeating this schedule. With the exception of maximum 2 hour practices, no 2.5 hour sessions this year.
- 5 Week Mandatory Summer Camp including Team Building, Conditioning/Cheer Skill Development and Choreography which runs from Aug. 13th through Sept 16th when our fall schedule commences.
- Scheduling – Getting summer and fall practice schedules distributed ASAP should help us all get on the same page earlier and plan better for the 2018-2019 school year. As always, we won’t be getting the football game schedules and some of our possible competition dates until last week in August.
- Expect revised/final schedules to come out the first week in September. We may just need to shift some Saturday practice times but weekday practices should remain the same except for a few instances if a holiday/school event conflicts.
- Our teams will be attending all games (home and away) as long as our teams are not at Competitions. Most games are on Sundays but some are Saturdays and if conflicting with our practices, we will do the game and will flip our practice to a different time on Saturdays or move to Sundays.
- Cheer Uniform Fittings – June 9th and 10th. All shoes and skirts (Grades 3-8) will be ordered then.
- Cheer Team Day will be Sunday, August 12th at the French Hill Gym where we will meet up as teams before our summer sessions start and hand out all uniform pieces, accessories, shoes, spirit wear etc.
o K-1st & 2nd Grade Teams will meet at 5PM.
o 3rd & 4th Grade Teams will meet at 6PM.
o 5th & 6th Grade Teams will meet at 7PM.
o 7th & 8th Grade Teams will meet at 8PM.
Summer Sessions & Fall Practices
The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is practice…
The summer and fall schedules (final drafts) will be handed out at the March Parent Meeting 3/28/18. In August, we will have final schedules available on http://yaccheerleading.com. If you cannot access this or have any questions, please e-mail Jess Gorman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In August we have our mandatory summer camp sessions which for 2018 will run for 5 weeks from August 13th-September 16th. Carpooling is encouraged.
September 17th through mid-November practices will be held once during the school week and also once each Saturday for a total of two practices per week (K-1st Grade only practices on Saturday). Again, preliminary fall schedules will be provided in April with the possibility of a few changed dates/times for practices in the event of school holidays or occasions not posted until the final 2018-2019 official school calendar is released (Summer 2017).
Tie your shoes, straighten your bow, show your spirit from head to toe! Lead the crowd, use your poms and cheer because football season is almost here!
Cheerleaders are required to cheer at football games. Game schedules include both home and away games on Saturdays or Sundays. Attendance is monitored and will impact the ability of both the individual cheerleader and the squad as a whole, to participate in any or all competitions. Football games are weekly on Saturdays or Sundays.
However, YAC Football does not get their game schedule from the League until late August. As such, we won’t know specific dates/times until the last week of August and of course, we will provide you with this information then.
You earn your trophies at practice, you just pick them up at competitions!
All teams in grades K-8 participate in local cheerleading competitions.
All teams will perform at the Yorktown Cheer Exhibition on Saturday, November 3rd and our Yorktown Cheer Competition on Sunday, November 4th.
Again, YAC Cheer is all about having both sideline sass and class! At YAC Cheer, winning doesn’t mean coming in first, second or even third place everywhere we go, it means building teams and youth athletes who have character, commitment, compassion and enthusiasm.
At competitions, we sit on the sidelines and cheer for all of our YAC teams and most importantly, we cheer for every team from every town! Above all, we expect our cheerleaders, coaches and parents to act with class and respect and realize that sometimes scoring can be very subjective. If we positively participate and did the best we could, we are winners every time and at every competition.
Sometimes it may feel like a team deserved second place but got third. Regardless of how we place, we absolutely expect and demand that all athletes, coaches and parents will act and speak with respect, couth and dignity. With these qualities and goals always present, we feel that Yorktown wins every time and every place regardless of the numbers on those scoring sheets!
Attendance is Mandatory
Be all in or get all out, there is no halfway...
Attendance is critical to the success of the squad. Routines/stunts cannot be learned and performed if the full squad is not in attendance from the first practice on.
Cheerleaders are encouraged to come to practice even if they cannot cheer due to an injury or minor illness (cramps, allergies, etc). That way they can still learn what’s new and not have a recorded absence.
WARNING: Beginning September 17, 2018, three or more absences from practices and two or more football games will result in removal from the nearest competition to the last missed date. It is critical that your child attends practices this is the time they learn their routines and are placed appropriately for various stunts. If you foresee a problem, please speak to your coach immediately. A phone call prior to the practice/game is required to the coach if your child is going to miss a practice or game.
Attire for Practices & Fridays
Respect, determination and confidence are the most transformative things you can wear…
T-shirt (no spaghetti straps or midriff baring shirts please), shorts/leggings and white cheer sneakers are required for EVERY practice.
When stunting, t-shirts with short/long sleeves and capri or full length (non-silky/not spandex) leggings are recommended for comfort and safety.
No clothing items with glitter please. No clothing items that have loose ties, studs or metal pieces please.
Full YAC uniform required for EVERY game. Uniform vests and skirts will be provided. Mandatory items to be purchased annually include competition pom poms, white or black bodysuit, black spankies, competition socks, competition and game bows – all of this will be included during registration.
For Friday Spirit Days, just as the YAC football players wear their game shirts, our YAC cheerleaders are invited and encouraged to wear their 2018 Cheer T-Shirts (will receive in August) along with black capri or full length leggings (you provide), and their game bow to school.
If you think I look confident now, wait until you see me in my cheerleading uniform standing on the sidelines with my team…
Our uniforms are some of the best in quality and appearance in the league. Please be aware some portions of the uniform may be on loan only. A deposit check of $200.00 is required before uniform distribution and will be returned to you at the end of the season when the uniform is returned intact and clean. All uniforms NOT returned will be subject to our cashing of the deposit check.
A bad attitude is like a flat tire. You can’t get very far until you change it…
It is so important that our cheerleaders come to every practice with a good attitude, ready to learn, work and support each other.
Cheerleading is a sport and it involves a high degree of skill and complexity. Coaches are there to teach your child, support your child - and most importantly, ensure that all safety standards are met successfully.
Poor attitude, lack of cooperation and/or inattention is very distracting and very dangerous. We simply cannot have it.
Cheerleaders are expected to demonstrate courtesy and cooperation to spectators, opponents, opponents, coaches, volunteers and each other at all times.
It is very important that our cheerleaders come to every practice with a good attitude, ready to learn, work and support each other.
Unfortunately, it is not just being at every practice, game and competition. It is wanting to be there and wanting to be part of a team and deciding to participate positively and safely.
It is very disrespectful and disruptive to have an athlete at a practice who is being uncooperative or unenthusiastic. Every child is unique - they grow and learn at their own pace and they each have their own set of strengths and weaknesses. As such, if your child is not able to effectively participate with a positive attitude and a high level of focus and cooperation, then sadly competitive cheerleading may not be the right fit for them at this time.
1. Should a cheerleader display a contrary attitude or lack of cooperation, a squad coach will verbally warn them to cease the behavior immediately and encourage them to participate positively.
2. Should the attitude/behavior continue, the coach will approach them for a more private discussion and encourage them to participate positively and warn them should the behavior continue, a parent will be called in to retrieve them.
3. If after this discussion their attitude/behavior doesn't improve, the parents will be called in to remove the child from the session and deal with the issue.
4. If the parents are called 3 or more times to attend to an issue during the season, we will have no recourse but to terminate the child from the program as the focus of our coaches needs to be 100% on the safety and well-being of the team as a whole and focusing so much individualized attention on one child's behavior takes away from the intended benefit of the squad and creates an unsafe environment for the other participants.
Behavioral distractions CANNOT and will not be tolerated as it degrades the overall safety and quality of the program and is probable cause for dismissal from the program.
PLEASE NOTE: YAC does not offer refunds when behavior/attitude/negative participation is an issue.
Rules for Parents & Cheerleaders
The following two pages are lists of general rules that we expect parents and cheerleaders to observe for practices and games/competitions. Please read them carefully. Most of these rules are established for the safety of the cheerleaders, and the remainder instituted in the interest of fairness to all participants. We want the girls to have fun being cheerleaders, and we will also teach them commitment and responsibility toward a TEAM effort.
Any questions, problems or concerns are expected to be addressed in a private setting, at an appropriate time, with your child’s coach. It should not be done during practice, game, or competition and not in front of any other child or parent.
- Cheerleaders should bring water only to practices (no food or other beverages).
- Practice time – Practice will begin promptly. Coaches and staff appreciate prompt drop off and pick up. Please have your cheerleaders arrive at least 10 minutes prior to practice time so they have time to help roll out the mats etc. and are ready to go at the start of practice.
- Please check with your cheerleader after practice for any news coming home.
- Remind your cheerleader to use the bathroom at home before coming to practice.
- No jewelry, tattoos, nail polish or artificial nails or glitter. Please do subdued make-up only. Nails should not be over the fingertip. We are no longer allowed to tape over earrings – sorry, as per league safety rules all earrings must come out.
- Hair should be pulled back off the face securely and should be off the shoulders. Due to the past years’ outbreaks of lice (in every town!) we will be requiring all girls to wear their hair in a bun at all practices. For games, we will be wearing high ponytails and for competitions we will be wearing very clean-looking competition buns – no bobby pins are allowed ever. If your child has bangs or pieces that slip out easily, please use an extra hairband, no-slip elastic/cloth headbands or non-metallic barrettes to secure tightly. It is a safety hazard to have their hair in their eyes, blocking their view.
- Anyone wearing glasses must have them secured to their head using a short elastic band. This is a required piece of safety equipment.
- Siblings are not allowed to participate in practice or games. It is neither safe nor fair for the children on the squad. Please refrain from allowing siblings to distract squad (children should not be running in practice area).
- Parents should also refrain from interacting with their child during practice and games (unless your child needs you).
- Anyone caught fighting or stealing is subject to dismissal.
- Alcohol, tobacco and drug use is prohibited. Violators are subject to dismissal.
- Be positive, cooperative and kind please!
Game Day Rules
Cheerleaders are required to cheer at football games. Game schedules include both home and away games on Saturdays or Sundays. Attendance is monitored and will impact the ability of both the individual cheerleader and the squad as a whole, to participate in any or all competitions.
- Call your coach to report an absence at least 2 hours prior to the game.
- Cheerleaders must arrive 35 minutes prior to game time. We must accommodate time for everyone to arrive and warm-up and coordination with the football coaches and players for the Star-Spangled Banner and gameday banners etc. which both happen before the official start of each game.
- At any function all cheerleaders are required to stay with their coach and team at all times. Once reporting to your coach you may never leave the team without permission. ZERO TOLERANCE WILL APPLY. You must wear your complete uniform to all games.
- Remind your cheerleader to use the bathroom at home before coming to the game as facilities are very limited and not desirable!
- Cheerleaders should bring water and a non-messy snack to games.
- Hair should be pulled back and off shoulders. Glasses secured with elastic strap. Again, at games we will be wearing hair in a high pony with Game Bow tightly secured.
- No jewelry, tattoos, nail polish or artificial nails or glitter – subdued make-up only. Nails should not be over the fingertip.
- Please show courtesy and respect toward all people. Should you encounter a problem notify your coach immediately.
- Cheerleaders will kneel or squat when a player from either team is hurt on the field.
- Cheerleaders will not talk during the National Anthem or other instances such as player injuries, moments of silence etc.
- Cheerleaders will not talk, fidget, move out of their lines or fool around between cheers. Always give 100% of your attention to your coach and the game.
- Siblings are not allowed to participate in games. It is neither safe nor fair for the children on the squad. Please refrain from allowing siblings to distract squad (children should not be running in stands or on sidelines).
- Parents should also refrain from interacting with their child during games (unless your child needs you).
- Be positive, cooperative and kind please!