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Hillcrest Wins State Drill Team Title

Mar 09, 2016 01:21PM ● Published by Bryan Scott

By Ron Bevan | ron@mycityjournals.com

Midvale - A drought of state titles at Hillcrest High School was squashed Feb. 6 when the Huskies drill team took home the overall drill team state 4A title. And Hillcrest captured the title despite going up against two reigning state champions.

Hillcrest made it past the preliminary state round Feb. 4 at Utah Valley University, in a new format for the drill competition. The top 16 teams compete in the preliminary round, and the best nine teams move on to the final competition the final day.

“Hillcrest has always been very successful in drill team,” Hillcrest coach Chelsea Divine said. “We have finished in the top five for the last 25 years.”

The Huskies have won six drill team titles, including a title in 2009 which proved to be the school’s last state trophy in any competition. 

But to win this year, the Huskies had to beat Bountiful, which had won the six previous state drill championships. They also had to beat Uintah, which was last year’s 3A champion.

“We felt honored to be able to compete with program that have so much history,” Divine said.

Divine is a former Hillcrest drill team member and is in her second year coaching the Huskies. She had previously coached for three years at Brighton, although she wasn’t on the teaching staff.

“I took the Brighton job while I was still attending the University of Utah,” Divine said. “My sister was on the team, and I wanted to try coaching drill. During my first year as a coach I knew I also wanted to be a teacher as well. So when a teaching and coaching position opened up at Hillcrest, I knew it was perfect for me. It was like coming home.”

Divine gets help from her former coach, Brenda Searle, who helps as co- coach.

Known mostly as the halftime entertainment of high school football and basketball games, the drill team also has its own competitions throughout the year. The team learns a variety of performances but hones three throughout the year to present at the state competition. The team is judged in three types of competition: dance, drill and character.

The military routine is typically what people think of when it comes to a drill team: presicion formations done mostly in a marching mode. Dance is more technical and consists of a lot of creativity and choreography. 

“Our dance routine is such a passionate one for our girls,” Divine said. “We did it to the song ‘He Lives in You’ from the ‘Lion King’ off Broadway. It helps us to honor the Hillcrest tradition while inspiring our girls that they can build their own legacy.”

Character has more novelty involved in its performance and also usually includes props, from hats and canes to large movable structures.

“The character category asks the girls to portray a character and challenges the girls in such a fun way,” Divine said. “They not only have to dance fabulously, but they also have to tell a story through their movement and facial expressions in order to completely entertain the audience.”

Hillcrest took the state title by finish first in dance, second in military and second in character.

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