Niles Elite Cheerleading turns in strong showing at state competition

Published 3:36 pm Monday, February 6, 2023

NILES — A local athletics organization recently turned in a strong showing at the state level.

Niles Elite Cheerleading had eight of its teams place in the top four at the Champion Force Athletics State Competition Sunday, Jan. 29 at Huntington Place in Detroit.

Level 1 (ages 4-6)  – 4th 

Level 2 (ages 7-9) – 2nd

Level 3 (ages 10 and up) – 3rd

Level 4 (try out only) – 3rd 

Level 5.4 Teal (tryout only) 3rd (brand new team this year)

Level 5 Pink (try out only) 3rd

Level 6 Purple (tryout only) 3rd

Level 7 Black (tryout only) 2nd

“As an overall group, we had an amazing weekend with great competition with each division,” said NEC head coach Stephanie Tester.

Tester, who has been a head coach for 14 years, cheered in the same program growing up. The program has been around for about 25 years, she said.

The Niles Elite program has five tryout teams starting at level four and progressing upwards to levels 5, 5.4, 6 and 7. Athletes try out every year and are never guaranteed a spot. The program also has younger divisions with children starting at the age of four and moving their way up. Younger divisions do not require experience, Tester said.

“We currently have around 200 athletes between eight divisions ranging from 4 to 18 years old,” she said. “We have kids from all around: Niles, Buchanan, Edwardsburg, Sturgis, Hartford, Three Rivers, South Bend, Elkhart, Mishawaka and Goshen.”

From 2004 to 2022, Tester estimates the program has won close to 30 national titles between all levels that earn a bid and compete. The program also has numerous state championships under its belt. Tester said that most of her teams are placed in the top five in the state. 

According to Tester,  NEC’s spring season begins today. No experience is needed to join. For more information, readers can check out NEC’s main facebook page “Niles Elite Cheerleading” or they can email