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Murray Journal

Murray High drill team reaches goal of supporting other school teams, competing at state

Mar 07, 2018 02:49PM ● By Julie Slama

Murray High School drill team performs their character dance on their home court. (Keylee Mundee/Murray High School)

The Murray High Spartonians have something to dance about — a successful season complete with competing at state.

After a six-year drought of not performing at state, coach Keylee Mundee said that they were excited coming off their second-place finish at region where they learned they would advance to the state semifinals.

“We’re excited,” Mundee said. “We’ve improved all year, getting better at every competition.”

At the December Wasatch Invitational, they placed second in hip-hop and third in military and dance.

“We had to scratch our character dance to work out a few things,” she said about their dance where girls dress like crows and imitate their movements in their dance. “At the beginning of the year, our strongest dance was military and jazz was where we needed to build up our confidence. Now, we’re fairly consistent across all dances and have consistently placed in the top five.”

On Jan. 6, they competed at the Excalibur Classic at Copper Hills High School, placing second in both character and hip-hop, fourth in military and fifth in dance.

The next weekend, the Spartonians placed fourth in every dance at the Rocky Mountain Invitational at Corner Canyon High School, setting them up for region at Cottonwood High. There, the team finished with second places in character and military and third in dance.

While Mundee, who became head coach after being an assistant coach last season, said she looks at several sources for her drill team’s routine each year, one avenue she has researched is that of marching bands.

“I see how they do some cool formations and I realize we could do it that way as well,” she said.

Even with 20 hours per week of practice, which includes mornings, afterschool and some Saturdays, the team has bonded through many activities like going to Lagoon, watching movies at sleepovers and having team dinners.

“At our dinners, we hold a candle-lighting ceremony where we say a favorite member or a goal for a tomorrow. We say something nice about our teammates, which brings us closer together,” she said, adding that she did that when she competed on drill at Mountain Crest High. “As we light up our candles, we are a team and without one candle, we’re darker. It’s a way to make our team shine.”

Mundee said that the team motto, “We can and we will,” has helped them not only be successful in their competitive season, but also, made a mark throughout their school.

“We welcomed the school year by giving administrators and teachers cookies, brownies and thank-you notes for our upcoming year. We paid it forward by giving good luck treats to the football team and supported them. We’ve told everyone we’ll perform anytime they’d like us. I’m huge that way. It can start with my team to unite. We’re here to support the rest of the school,” she said.

As a result, the Spartonians have attended and danced at volleyball matches, wrestling meets, boys and girls basketball games as well as homecoming and pep assemblies.

The team is slated to travel Feb. 28 through March 3 to Disneyland to enroll in some professional dance classes before they hold their year-end showcase at 6 p.m., Thursday, March 15 in the school’s main gym, 5440 S. State St. 

Tryouts for next year’s drill team will be held Monday, March 12 through Wednesday, March 14.