2A state drill: Kanab repeats as champions, Enterprise takes 2nd

Kanab High School Lariettes drill team members celebrate after winning state 2A championship, Orem, Utah, Jan. 31, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Kanab Lariettes, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — For the second year in a row, the Kanab High School Lariettes are the 2A state drill team champions, while the Enterprise Wolverines claimed the runner-up spot for the third straight year.

2A state champion Kanab High School Lariettes were honored at an assembly at school, Kanab, Utah, Feb. 3, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Kanab Lariettes, St. George News

The two Southern Utah teams were among the dozen smaller schools that performed at the Utah High School Activities Association’s 2A state competition last Thursday and Friday at Utah Valley University in Orem. Qualifying schools belonging to the 1A classification, like returning 1A champion Panguitch, competed at the 2A level this year.

“To win the 2A drill team state championship two consecutive years is a dream come true,” Kanab head coach Shellie Stewart told St. George News Monday.

“It’s difficult to put into words the pride and love I felt as I watch the girls give everything they had on Friday night,” Stewart added. “They danced heart and soul, determined to walk out of the arena winners!”

Stewart said one of the team’s dancers experienced serious health issues just four days before the state competition, making her unable to participate in either of her routines.

“We scrambled to fill the spots with alternate dancers,” Stewart said. “The three underclassmen stepped up and practiced extra hours to learn the new spots, with support from the seasoned team members as they rallied around them. I watched stunned and teary-eyed as the three alternates competed with such determination and confidence.”

Kanab ended up sweeping top honors in all three categories (dance, military, and character) as they claimed their second straight state title. For their character dance, the 18-member Lariettes portrayed dance club DJs in bright red costumes.

Enterprise Wolverines drill team members prepare to perform their “beach party” themed character dance, Orem, Utah, Jan. 31, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Enterprise Wolverines, St. George News

Enterprise placed second in all three categories, just two weeks after finishing second to Kanab at the 2A south regional competition held in Kanab Jan. 17.

“We took second at region and Kanab took first,” Enterprise head coach Trinilee Christensen said. “Our girls were a little bit discouraged, but they came back strong. We talked to them about it and they put their shoulders back, lifted their chins up and worked super, super hard for the next week and a half. And I told them that a lot of things in life you can’t control, what your lineup order is and what the judges think of you and your dance. The only thing we can control in life, is how we handle certain situations that are given to us. And we can either be encouraged by those situations and be strong and push forward or we can be discouraged and let it get us down. But the girls chose to stay encouraged and work hard and do their very, very best.”

Christensen said the Wolverines gave the “performance of a lifetime” at the two-day state meet, despite having several team members battling illness.

“We had several of them that were extremely sick, but they pushed through,” she said. “The next day, when we advanced at state, we were so thrilled.”

“I remember them going off the floor and I just had tears in my eyes after each dance because they worked so hard and gave everything they had and left it out there on the floor,” Christensen added. “And just knowing that they had represented their community and their school and their families so well. Those girls just have a champion attitude. They’re champions at heart.”

Enterprise’s character dance was a real crowd-pleaser, their coach noted.

“It was a 50s beach party, with towels and beach balls,” she said. “It is the most fun dance, thinking of the sun and sand while it is snowy and cold outside.”

Kanab High School seniors Shelbi Fisher, Savanah Jenson, Emmorie Decker and Abby Orton celebrate with trophy after Lariettes won state 2A championship, Orem, Utah, Jan. 31, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Kanab Lariettes, St. George News

“When it came down to the award ceremony and they announced that we had won second, the girls were thrilled and they were happy,” Christensen said. “Kind of a bittersweet moment, you know, everybody always hopes for first place, but I was so proud of them. They set their trophy and their awards down on the floor and walked across the court and congratulated Kanab. They spent a good 10 minutes congratulating them before they even came back to their own award and took pictures with it.”

Kanab coach Stewart said she was also impressed.

“Enterprise and all the 2A teams had such great sportsmanship,” she said. “All the girls and coaches congratulated us with such grace and class.”

 Leading the way for the Kanab Lariettes this year were seniors Emmorie Decker, Shelbi Fisher, Savanah Jenson and Abby Orton. The remaining team members are Alissa Chamberlain, Allison Clarkson, Madison Crofts, Sadie Fox, Caroline Giddings, Jocee Peatross, Alyssa Stewart, Joelle Werlinger, Harlee Riggins, Leisel Baird, Mirandah Ott, Sophia Stewart, Aliya Massengale and Kessa Wheeler. Stewart’s assistant coaches are Emily Koelliker and Mikkel Glaizer.

Enterprise’s squad consists of team members Lila Christensen, Annie Crouch, Tori Christensen, Jordyn Reber, Karyn Hess, Konstance Shock, Angel Burgess, Kinley Koopmans, Cortney Christensen, Lindzee Banks, Brinlee Holliday, Marisa Jimenez, Becca Hess and Farrah Stucki. Assistant coaches are Stacie Reber and Mary Foremaster.

2A state drill team results (top 5)


  1. Kanab
  2. Enterprise
  3. North Summit
  4. Duchesne
  5. Gunnison Valley


  1. Kanab
  2. Enterprise
  3. Gunnison Valley
  4. Panguitch
  5. Duchesne


  1. Kanab
  2. Enterprise
  3. North Summit
  4. Duchesne
  5. Monticello


  1. Kanab
  2. Enterprise
  3. North Summit
  4. Gunnison Valley

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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