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Drill team claims eleventh consecutive state championship

Senoirs+Hailey+Franklin+and+Caylen+Calderon+lead+the+drill+team+into+Bearcat+Stadium+prior+to+the+Aurora+game.+
Senoirs Hailey Franklin and Caylen Calderon lead the drill team into Bearcat Stadium prior to the Aurora game.

Senoirs Hailey Franklin and Caylen Calderon lead the drill team into Bearcat Stadium prior to the Aurora game.

Gordon Rock

Gordon Rock

Senoirs Hailey Franklin and Caylen Calderon lead the drill team into Bearcat Stadium prior to the Aurora game.

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Drill Team is heavily based on tradition so it came as no surprise when they earned their eleventh consecutive win at the Nebraska State Cheer and Dance Championship on Feb. 17.

With their routine Puttin’ on the Ritz, the team won in the Class B High Kick division with a score of 85.17 out of 100, which was the highest score in High Kick in all classes, with Lincoln Northeast taking the gold in Class A with a score of 79.67.

The Nebraska State Cheer and Dance Championship has been in existence for eleven years and the Drill Team has won in the Class B High Kick Division every year.

“Every year involves the same pressure to ‘keep the streak’, but as a senior, that was magnified. Sitting and waiting while they announce the winners is extremely nerve-racking, but winning is an amazing feeling because we know that all of our hard work has paid off,” senior Grace Heggem said.

With eleven seniors on the team, it was fitting for the team to win for the eleventh year in a row.

“The seniors have a lot more responsibilities on the team. But, it’s also a lot easier senior year because for the most part you know most of the dances,” senior Hailey Franklin said.

Starting with practices in December, the team has put in mounds of effort with practices before school every day at 6:30 and practices on Saturdays a few weeks before their competitions.

The dance itself contains approximately 70 kicks in a span of two minutes. It was choreographed by Tiffany Tabor Mackrill.

This past summer, the team traveled to Lincoln for National Dance Alliance (NDA) Dance Camp and got their bid to nationals there.

Since NDA and the Nebraska State Cheer and Dance Championship are through two different organizations, the team didn’t have to win state to qualify for Nationals.

Drill Team traveled to Orlando, Florida for the NDA National Championship on Mar. 2 and perfromed the same routine.

The team placed seventh out of nine teams with a score of 84.4 out of 100.

Keeping with tradition, this is the team’s 23rd consecutive year going to the National Championship under head coach Angie Hinze.

“I am extremely proud of these young ladies. Their performances at state and nationals were the absolute best they could do. They performed with great precision, lots of expression, and made no mistakes. Tiffany and I were very pleased with both competitions,” Hinze said.

As for the rest of the year, Drill Team has their Spring Extravaganza on Apr. 10 before tryouts for next year in May

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