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The City Journals

Minerettes end season undefeated in military routine, win state, national titles

May 07, 2020 12:12PM ● By Julie Slama

Minerettes perform at the state competition in Orem where they won the 6A state title. (Photo by Pat McDonald.)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

It’s a time when the Minerettes usually hold an end-of-year showcase to celebrate their successful year and hold auditions for next year’s squad. But with Gov. Gary Herbert’s soft closure of schools through the rest of the year to ensure social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic, that has meant the shutdown of normal school activities.

However, it doesn’t mean second-year Minerette coach Erika Cox is sitting idle.

“I’m thinking of some music ideas for our routines and have been brainstorming with our assistant coach to keep our momentum going,” she said. “It’s not a down time for me.”

That momentum is straight from bringing home national championship trophies at the Contest of Champions National Competition at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida, where they placed first in military, character and hip-hop routines and third in dance.

“There was a lot of talent and really tough competition,” she said. “The girls gave it everything they got. It was a memorable performance, and they have nothing to regret.”

The national trophies they brought home on the plane came after a season where they took first place at all invitational competitions before winning region, beating their main competitors of Copper Hills, Herriman and Jordan high schools — some of the same teams they battled at state competition.

“We were ranked first all season, but at state, we got a penalty and didn’t know how that would affect our score,” Cox said.

At state, the Minerettes took first in military — and were undefeated in it all season — and first in dance, but the penalty placed their character routine, fourth.

“It was really an emotional time,” she said. “We didn’t know if our scores were enough to win state.”

However, the team beat Herriman to win the state title. Layton, Copper Hills and Davis high schools placed third, fourth and fifth, respectively.

“We’ve had an incredible season, one of the best wins for the state title, and to go on and then we did really well at nationals in Florida,” Cox said. “We had our banquet and got to recognize our seniors and our officers before the school closure. We were getting ready, going over routines and everything for the showcase, but that was just going to be the final cherry on top for the year.”

While other schools initially hoped to hold drill team auditions during the soft closure through May 1, most came together and decided it wasn’t fair to all applicants to do video auditions.

“Some dancers may not have studios, and dancing on a living room carpet isn’t as good as dancing at a studio,” Cox said. “You can’t turn on cement outside, so we hope that holding off will allow tryouts to be equal. I’m looking at this time as a plus for our team. Drill is tough on their bodies, and many of them are exhausted. It’s nice to have them heal, chill, rest and return excited, ready and motivated for next year.”