Shorewood Drill Team celebrates first place win in state competition

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

State Champs in Military division.  Photo by Stellah Kang.
By Sheri Ashleman
Shorewood High School’s Drill Team celebrated the culmination of a successful season with a first place win in the military division at the WIAA Dance/Drill State Championships held March 25-26 at the Yakima Valley Sundome.

Teams came from all over the state to compete in six categories-- military, pom, kick, dance, hip hop and show. There were 16 routines in the category Shorewood took first place.

While this is the team’s first year competing in 3A, it is not their first trip to the podium. They won drill in 2003 and 2005, pom in 2006, drill and pom in 2008, and drill (which is now called military) in 2011. 

Getting ready to go to Yakima. Photo by Rick Ashleman
Coach Kathy Ross admitted, “Winning 3A was especially fulfilling this year because our biggest 4A competition also moved down to 3A this year—Decatur of Federal Way, Lake Washington of Kirkland and Capital of Olympia. All four of us placed on Friday (Capital took 4th, Lake Washington 3rd, Decatur 2nd, Shorewood 1st). Even though we have had a very successful season, you never know what state day will bring. The other teams were having an equally successful season and it was going to be anyone’s game.”

Shorewood’s season results are as follows:
  • First in military at Lake Washington (November)
  • First in military at Decatur (February)
  • First in military at Interlake (February)
  • First in kick at Hazen (January)
  • First in military at Districts at Kamiak (March)
  • First at WIAA state Championships in Yakima, fourth in kick (March)
“Although we took first in the competitions leading up to Districts and State, it is important to know that our scores were nowhere near what they needed to be for state and to reach a superior rating. It was important for us to instill in the girls, especially our first year members, we still had lots of work to do to get the scores where they needed to be for state. We preach to them that there is a fine line between confident and cocky. Confidence is great, but cocky will knock you out of the game. The team really listened and continued to work hard to reach their goal,” explained Coach Ross.

The team’s co-coach and choreographer is Tiffany Bliss. The winning military routine Bliss put together earned top marks. All five judges awarded the team superior ratings in all three categories: overall affect, execution and content. A rating of “superior” is the highest rating possible.

Shorewood Drill Team. Photo by Stellah Kang.
“We are so proud of our 34 girls. These ladies have a work ethic like none other,” gushes Coach Ross. 

The girls make a huge commitment, especially in the months leading up to state, practicing about 16 hours a week. 

In addition, these girls are high achievers with many of them taking AP and honors classes. They have a combined GPA of 3.65. 


Tiffany Bliss and Kathy Ross
Photo by Stellah Kang
"Drill team teaches them time management and how to balance their lives. They learn about team work, perseverance, commitment and dedication. This weekend they learned that hard work really does pay off. Both Coach Tiffany and I feel so honored to be a big part of these girls’ lives,” said Coach Ross.

Team members, under the leadership of Captains Clara Lam, Christa Lee and Mel Wonser, include Julie Ahn, Kathryn Altena, Alex Ashleman, Sydney Avolio, Bonnie Beam, Angelica Cupat, Christine Day, Kayla Duskin, Mackenzie Gholson, Katie Gibbs, Nicole Jahng, Stephanie Kang, Sadie Kent, Sarah Kim, Lena Kirkman, Leah Lee, Winny Lee, Alex Loistl, Haley Maas, Lauren Macalalad, Lindsey Macalalad, Vanessa Maisonpierre, Kaia McChesney, Rachel Miller, Jordan Mullen, Ronnie Park, Kyla Riley, Ellesse Svasand, Alice Wang, Michelle Wilson and Rebecca Yuen.

Captains Christa Lee, Mel Wonser, and Clara Lam. 
Photo by Stellah Kang.
The team is exceptionally proud of Captain Christa Lee, who was selected to sing the National Anthem at the State Championships and Captain Clara Lam who was a awarded a $500 scholarship from the judge’s association.

To view video of Shorewood Drill’s state championship routine, the video is here.
"Congratulations to the Shorewood Drill Team for all their accomplishments this year and for their dedication and commitment to the excellence of their team."

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