Lady Bearcats Drill Team headed to Orlando after being named the best kickers at state dance and cheer competition
SCOTTSBLUFF — The Scottsbluff High School Drill Team, under the direction of Angie Hinze and Tiffany Tabor Mackrill, danced to success as they were named high kick state champions for the 12th year in a row at the 12th annual Nebraska State Dance and Cheer Competition in Grand Island on Friday, Feb. 15 and Saturday, Feb. 16.
The Lady Bearcats competed against nine teams in Class A/B Friday and 15 teams in Class C/D Saturday. Scottsbluff received the highest score in all classes of 85.73 points.
Ahead of the competition, Hinze said the team was nervous, but became overjoyed upon the announcement.
“It is so fun to watch them as Scottsbluff is called out as the champions,” said Hinze. “They jump up, scream and hug each other. It never gets old.”
Mackrill is the team’s choreographer and works to help the team prepare for competitions. The drill team practices year round five days a week for their performances. They started practicing their state and nationals routine at the beginning of January.
“She encourages the girls to always do their very best and perform with confidence,” said Hinze.
Throughout the year, they have faced several challenges, but continue to persevere. Some of the students dealt with injuries while performing during a busy winter sports season.
“We perform at all of the home girls and boys basketball games, so we were preparing several different routines for those games as well,” she said.
On top of their time commitment to the drill team, the students were also involved in other extracurricular activities at school and in the community. Still, the coaches remind the students how important each one of them are to the success of the drill team.
“I encourage the girls and remind them how important they are and how much they are loved,” said Hinze. “They are performers and they know what they need to do in order to be successful.”
Members of the SHS drill team include five seniors: Salome Becker, Shelby Fisher, Jordyn Grasmick, Sydney Petitt and Catherine Wisniewski and ten juniors: Morgan Baird, Jensen Bedlan, Payson Haught, Sydney Hinze, Alexys Kersenbrock, Malorie McAllister, Jesse Claire McCaslin, Kirsten Saldivar, Brooklyn Shifflet and Emily Tarr.
As the five seniors prepare to graduate in a couple months and put up their drill team uniforms, Hinze hopes they know they role in a long standing tradition of discipline, hard work and success. She also wants them to remember the friendships they made and fun they had as a team.
“It has been an amazing year for these girls so far,” said Hinze. “They had a great summer of performances and camp at Nebraska Wesleyan University, an awesome football season that took them to a halftime performance at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, a very busy basketball season, a state championship at the Nebraska State Dance Competition and now a trip to the NDA nationals in Orlando. They have worked very hard, had lots of fun, and have made many Bearcat memories.”