MATTOON (JG-TC) -- The dance teams in the school district have several more honors to put up after a state competition Saturday.

The Mattoon High School varsity and junior varsity Wavettes and the Mattoon Middle School Purrfections competed against approximately 105 teams in the Illinois Drill Team Association state competition in Springfield and didn't come home empty handed.

The varsity team was able to place in jazz, lyrical, and pom, the three categories they competed in, as well as managing to earn the third highest total scores of all the varsity teams in the state, garnering them this year’s third place grand champion title.

Malia Smith, varsity team head coach, said the goal was to place in each category, and it was a special honor to have the third highest total scores in the competition.

The team earned themselves the state title in the pom category. But they also placed second in lyrical/contemporary for their dance that tied to their experiences with the high school shooting last year. Their jazz performance got them third place.

The junior varsity team, coached by Whitney Babbs, retained their state champions title in the JV Jazz division at the competition. The team had earned first place in the jazz division last year as well, Smith said.

The middle school dance team, coached by first-year coach Hillary Love, earned third place with their lyrical routine. They also were third-place grand champions for having the third highest total scores for all middle schools in the state of Illinois.

Smith said these wins were a testament to how driven each team was across the board.



Jarad Jarmon is a reporter for the JG-TC. He covers the city of Charleston, Eastern Illinois University, Mattoon schools and the Regional Office of Education.

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