Desert Hills wins Region 9 drill team competition

ST. GEORGE — Desert Hills High School’s “Tempest Line” drill team won the region title for the second straight year Wednesday night at Dixie State University’s Burns Arena.

Desert Hills placed among the top three in all three categories, placing first in both the military and character dances and taking third in dance.

Desert Hills High drill team, the Tempest Line, celebrates after winning Region 9 drill championship, St. George, Utah, Jan. 24, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

The Tempest Line began its evening on a high note, setting the tone by going first among the five competing schools in the military category. Its fast-paced, energetic number was not only highly popular with the crowd, it evidently impressed the judges as well.

But even though it started the evening off strong, the Tempest Line appeared to save its best performance for last. Dressed as harlequins or court jesters with bright costumes and painted faces, the Desert Hills girls dazzled the audience with a show-stopping dance that brought the appreciative crowd to its feet in applause.

Also in the character category, Dixie placed second with its exotic number featuring belly dancers and camels, and Canyon View took third with its interpretation of Disney villain Maleficent.

“It’s been amazing,” said Desert Hills head coach Marcee Christensen, who noted her girls have been practicing diligently for the past 10 months. “I can’t be more proud of my team.”

“There’s so much talent in our region,” added Christensen. “It’s always a really exciting night and fun to be part of.”

Snow Canyon, Region 9 Drill Team Competition, St. George, Utah, Jan. 24, 2018 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

Competition director Trista Tempest agreed. “Tonight was an amazing night for Region 9 drill teams,” she said, noting that the teams had all been preparing and practicing since last summer. “There’s just so much talent here. No one knew which way it was going to go … they all did a fabulous job.”

Dixie head coach Laurel Peterson said she and her team aren’t discouraged by their second-place finish, as the “Jetettes” have gone on to take the state championship each of the last two years despite not winning region either year.

“We’re just going to keep working hard for state,” said Peterson, who is being assisted by fellow coaches Heidi Taggart and Hailey Hammer-Swensen.

But while all five of this year’s Region 9 drill teams competed at the 3A level last year, each is now in the 4A classification, where the competition is likely to be stiffer at state.

The Utah High School Activities Association’s state 4A drill tournament is scheduled for Feb. 2-3 at Utah Valley University in Orem. Region 9’s Desert Hills, Dixie, Canyon View and Cedar will be seeded 1-4, respectively, in separate groups called “pods” for the first day of the state competition, which features 16 teams. The top two schools in each pod after the first day of state will advance to compete again on the second day, with one additional wild card team added to the mix.

Region 9 results

Overall:

  1. Desert Hills High School “Tempest Line”
  2. Dixie High School “Jetettes”
  3. Canyon View High School “Talons”
  4. Cedar High School “Mohey Tawa”
  5. Snow Canyon “Eshelles”

Military category:

  1. Desert Hills High School
  2. Dixie High School
  3. Canyon View High School

Dance category:

  1. Dixie High School
  2. Cedar High School
  3. Desert Hills High School

Character category:

  1. Desert Hills High School
  2. Dixie High School
  3. Canyon View High School
Cedar, Region 9 Drill Team Competition, St. George, Utah, Jan. 24, 2018 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

In addition to the team awards, numerous individual awards were also presented Wednesday. Named to the Region 9 all-region drill team were Alyssa Edwards, Brecklyn Brindley and Hannah Mendenhall of Canyon View; Clara Barnes of Cedar; Katelyn Larson, Kelsee Cooper and Kylie Bowler of Desert Hills; Caroline Smith, Delaney Vest and Rylee Perkins of Dixie; and Lexie Edwards, Emily Bonzo and Sarah Heinz of Snow Canyon.

Named to Region 9’s academic all-region team were Hannah Mendenhall of Canyon View; Clara Barnes of Cedar; Madison Colbert, Kylee Hartshorn, Navy Blomquist, Danzi Jones, Katelyn Larson and Kylie Bowler of Desert Hills; Caroline Smith of Dixie; and Lexie Edwards, Emily Bonzo and Tori Fisher of Snow Canyon.

Region 9 athletes who have been named to the all-state 4A drill team are Brinley White of Canyon View; Trendee Palmer and Bailee Lunt of Cedar; Kylee Hartshorn, Navy Blomquist and Danzi Jones of Desert Hills; Trinity Adair, Courtney Grob and Deja Nicholes of Dixie; and Brooklynn Reynolds of Snow Canyon.

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Email: jrichards@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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