The Dixie High School Jetette’s made history on February 6, 2016 winning Dixie’s first, Drill Team State Championship. “I still can’t believe it. Did this really happen, or did I dream it?” Quoted Dixie High’s Drill Team Head Coach, Laurel Peterson, better known as Ms. P.
Ms. P has coached the Jetette’s for over 26 years now, and she could not be more proud of her girls for their performances, and for leaving everything they had on the dance floor that day. It was very memorable, for not only the coaches and drill team, but also the parents. They were a big part of the success this year, and very involved. “We all wanted it, the girls, the coaches, and the parents. The day of the State competition, everything clicked, we showed up to win, and we did” said Ms. P.
In Drill Team, there are three categories which are Character, Dance, and Military. Leading up to the State competition, the Jetette’s seemed to do well in the Dance and Character categories, but never won the Military. With only two weeks before the Regional competition, Tiffany Graff, who is the mother of Jetette, Kasi, did some research and thought it may have something to do with the dance uniform. With support from the rest of the parents, coaches, and team, they had less than a week to pull together 20 new vests and 20 new hats. The rules state, that whatever is worn at the Regional competition, must be worn at the State competition. They pulled it off, and had their new Military uniforms ready in time for Regionals.
Ms. P. has loved coaching, and is very well known for her success with her girls. The Jetette’s have won Regionals multiple times over the years, however, they did not win Regionals this year. They placed 2nd in all three categories, which placed them 2nd over-all. It was a bit frustrating, but gave them all the push they needed to work extra hard to win State. Captains, Rachel Telfor and Megan Feller, were wonderful at pushing the girls and driving them to a new level. Ms. P. stated, “Our officers were like working with adults, us coaches would say something, and our captains and other officers would make sure it happened.”
Heidi Taggart, a former Jetette who has been an assistant coach for the last 14 years, and Hailey Hammer, also a former Jetette and has assisted the last 4 years, are big parts to the success this year. “We start with tryouts every March for the new season, from there, we practice 15-20 hours a week, including most of the summer. These amazing coaches are here every step of the way with me, and are wonderful. They are a huge part of our State Championship this year” Ms. P. said.
Something phenomenal about this particular year of Jetette’s, is not only did they win the State Championship for the first time in Dixie High School history, they also had several other firsts. “It was the first time the Jetette’s had 5 out of 10 seniors make it on the Academic All-State Team. It was also the first time in several years that all 3 girls that tried out for the All-State team, made it”. Kasi Graff, McKayla Foot, who are both 2 time All-State, and Aubree Sorenson were 3 out of 20 girls that made this year’s All-State Drill Team. Three girls from each school are given the opportunity to try out for the All-State Team, usually around 60 girls, and 20 make the team. It was very inspiring that the Jetette’s represented so well.
In her several years of coaching, Ms. P. began wondering if it had something to do with her as to why they could not win State. The last two years, the Jetette’s had finished 2nd place at State. She started thinking she may not be good enough to get a state championship. This year, she was not going to settle for anything less than first. She let her team know from the beginning that this was their year to win, and the other coaches, the team, and the parents all agreed. After not winning Regionals, it became clear to Ms. P. that they had their work cut out for them, but it was all part of the formula. “A little extra work, a little extra time, a little extra drive, and a little extra umph. The day of State, we all knew we were going to win. We have the best parents, the best girls, and the winning attitudes. It was so great,” Ms. P. said happily.
Region 9 is very competitive, Cedar and Desert Hills High School Drill Teams also placed in the top 5 this year, Ms. P was happy to report. “Ms. P. is a class act coach. She never gets nasty with the girls, she never gets riled up about other teams. She is loved by all of us. The girls respect her, and adore her. She is just truly a class act” says Graff.
As all State Champions that pass through Washington County, the Jetette’s got to ride through town on a Fire Truck when they got back into town around 9 p.m. with supporters following them. They were holding their State Champ trophy high for all to see, and also brought along one of their Chinese Dragon’s that were part of their Character Dance. It was definitely a day to remember. State Champions is something these girls will get to claim for the rest of their lives. Congratulations Jetette’s, history has been made. • HSSI