Drill kicks off competitive season

Ella Gage, Staff Writer

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“Football season is just warm up,” sophomore and drill team member Hailey Peternell said. In reality, the drill team’s talent Patriots see at Friday football games isn’t even close to the team’s performances at competition level. Transitioning from fall into winter, the team is boosting their intensity to a level that isn’t seen on the football field.
The practices, held twice a week in the past, are now held three or four times weekly.
“Some of us felt burnt out because we’ve been practicing so much,” said junior member Abigail Peacock. “Our new routine renewed our passion.”
This passion will help carry the girls through the competitive season, as freshman drill member Caitlin Thornhill can testify.
“I feel very confident about this season, everyone is hardworking and dedicated,” she said.
The team shares this confident attitude. For them, winning is a given.
“I’m looking forward to competing and especially winning,” said sophomore Hailey Peternell.
In fact, the drill team is competing at a level high enough to carry them to nationals. After not being able to compete at a national level last year for coaching reasons, the team is excited to have their chance this year. Other than raising the funds necessary to compete, Liberty will be hosting drill nationals qualifiers this winter.
“Hopefully people from Liberty will come because it will be really cool to watch!” said Peacock.
They are hoping for a good student turnout, considering the excitement and honor of hosting the competition.
However, as talented as Liberty’s drill team has proven itself to be, not everybody has mastered the skills necessary for competition, putting the team under pressure.
“I’m worried,” says Peacock. “We’ve got these difficult routines, and we’ve choreographed in elements not everybody has mastered yet.”
They team will have to make sure everyone has mastered the skills by state, considering many of the new skills for routines are out of people’s comfort zones. The newer members are feeling the pressure.
“I’m nervous. Being on a team, you feel the pressure to not make a mistake because it not only reflects your abilities, it also shows the teams skills as a whole, and you don’t want to let anyone down,” said freshmen Caitlin Thornhill.
Despite this challenge, the team remains confident due to their talent and their members’ positive energy.
“We are getting ahead early and we feel a lot more prepared for the competitive season,” said sophomore Bryn Ament. The rest of the girls feel the same way.
“I’m excited to get competitive. It’s such a great thing to work towards an end goal as a team,” said Thornhill.
The commitment and excitement is mutual on the team. Everyone from freshman to members who’ve been on the team for years are optimistic.
“I think the team will do well if we keep working hard and stay in the right mindset,” said freshman member Kyla Sokoloski.
Their hard work has been paying off; the drill team has been extremely successful. Beyond just their competitive successes, team members have also managed to connect with one another.
“The best part was hanging out with the team and bonding,” said freshman Madden Johnson.
The drill team has became a close-knit group.
“All the work is worth it when I get to perform with my sisters,” said sophomore Isabella Murillo.
The girls are kicking off their competitive season hopeful, well-connected, and confident, with nationals getting closer every day.

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