Juan Diego Drill Team Brings Home National Title
Mar 20, 2015 01:32PM
● By Catherine Garrett
The SilverLine drill team from Juan Diego Catholic High School won first place in the Small Division at the National Contest of Champions March 4-6 in Orlando, Fla. under first-year coach Matt Delly.
The Juan Diego Catholic High School SilverLine drill team members began using the theme “Conquer” 10 months ago in preparing for this year’s season. That word proved to be all the motivation the 13 member team would need under new coach Matt Delly to finish a successful season that ended with a national championship at the National Contest of Champions High School Dance and Drill Team event March 4-6 in Orlando, Fla.
“These girls represented Juan Diego with dignity and strength and exude class, confidence and love for the sport,” Delly said. “I couldn’t be more proud to call them mine and for them to call me coach.”
The SilverLine squad placed first in the Military and Open categories while taking second in Kick to be named Small Group National Champions out of 36 teams. Among the over 100 teams competing in all categories, the SilverLine also won Highest Scoring Dance Routine, Best Choreography for Military and took fourth overall in Military.
Juan Diego’s first national championship also comes in a season where the team participated in the state competition for the first time in school history, placing sixth overall. Co-captain Madison McPhail was named 3A Overall Soloist while Brenna Connely was named to the 3A All-State dance team.
During the season, Juan Diego placed first in all three routines at the Davis Invitational Dec. 6 and were named sweepstakes champions and first place overall among 3A teams. At the Great Basin Invitational Dec. 20, the SilverLine squad finished as the highest scoring school in all classifications and were again named sweepstakes champions. The team then placed first out of 12 other 3A schools at the Rocky Mountain Classic Jan. 10. A second place finish at regionals earned the girls a spot at the state championships.
Madeline Smith was the captain of the squad that also included Gentry Stevenson, Cassidy Carlson, Madeline Kessler, Teresa Culley, Rylie Leeson, Katie Ward, Hailey Smith, Ashley Jo Page, Hannah Grace Atkins and Jaydee Lester.
“Using the word ‘conquer’ motivated us to do more than the normal,” Delly said. “After ten months of 6 a.m. practices, rigorous stretch and conditioning classes and aggressive practice sessions, we surpassed all expectations and truly did conquer. It’s been a remarkable year.”