(1-28-17) The Rockford Guilford (Illinois) competitive cheer team’s nightmare season finally ended today at the Belvidere Sectionals. Dropping this year to the Medium School division, the Vikings came in last place in the 16-team field with a score of 45.36. That score is the lowest score registered in all of the Illinois Sectionals held across the state.
- Medium – Aurora Rosary 49.83
- Small – Chicago Disney 49.83
- Medium – Thornridge 49.11
- Small – Bloomington Cornerstone Christian Academy 48.53
- Medium – Rockford Guilford 45.36
The Vikings trailed Crystal Lake Central, who won the Medium School division in Belvidere, by almost 50 points (94.4) and were behind the 15th place team, Harvard, by over 13 points (58.71).
The last place finish ends four consecutive seasons of the Vikings qualifying for the State Finals.
The nightmare for Guilford all started when a member of the Viking’s Cheer squad was in a horrible ATV accident, her year was done due to the injuries suffered and the long rehabilitation process ahead of her. Veteran Cheer Coach Shelli McGinley, Guilford parents and team members worked on a fund-raising project for Olivia to support her medical costs. Not a good way to start out a promising season.
This season McGinley was excited about moving to the coed division, she added eight boys to the team and the future looked promising. The most successful RPS 205 program over the years was moving forward and looked to be a top team in the area.
The nightmare was still not over, a JV cheerleader (a transfer student) and her disgruntled parents decided that their daughter had been mistreated by McGinley and her JV coach. This all took place before the first football game in August. It didn’t take long for the RPS 205 officials to decide to terminate McGinley. The reason, we don’t know why, school officials would not release that information. The School board would approve the termination without a discussion or meeting with McGinley, who had appealed the move and despite a petition with signatures, including parents of team members. To add to the nightmare the JV cheerleader, who was not happy in how she had been treated, left the school shortly after McGinley’s dismissal and no longer attends Guilford.
McGinley, as documented in the two stories below, started an All-Star team, Rockford’s Royal Family. In early January, in their first ever meet at Northern Illinois University, they scored a 93.67 and won the meet.
How did RRF do it? With numerous members of what could have been the Vikings competitive cheer team this year they won the first time out. All but two of the Viking cheerleaders left the Guilford squad after McGinley was terminated.
Today’s dismal score was thankfully the end of the season for Guilford, who in two other meets this season scored just 51 points in those outings. To add to the nightmare they skipped for the first time the NIC 10 meet which was held at Guilford’s gym.
In a situation, not caused by the student-athletes, but by the school administration, a new coach and kids not prepared for competition were sent out to compete.