LHS dancers place third at State Spirit

For the sixth straight year the Lovell High School dance team has brought home a trophy from the state spirit competition in Casper.

The LHS dance team earned the third-place trophy in the hip-hop category for Class 3A during the annual competition last Wednesday night, March 9, at the Casper Events Center. The team received a score of 76.333 from judges, just behind Lander’s 78.333 score. Jackson won the hip-hop title with a score of 79.

Placing behind Lovell was Star Valley, fourth with 75.333 points, Kemmerer, fifth with 72.5 points, and Wheatland, sixth with 69.167 points.

Coach Darece Grant said she was pleased with the team’s performance Wednesday.

The Lovell High School dance team performs the squad’s hip-hop routine during a recent home basketball team. Members of the hip-hop squad, which placed third at the state spirit competition last Wednesday in Casper, are (l-r) Kelsie Mollett, Kaitlyn Grant, Raynie Martin (above), Amber Mayes (below), Mila Patrisha and Sami Newman. Cindy Asay photo
The Lovell High School dance team performs the squad’s hip-hop routine during a recent home basketball team. Members of the hip-hop squad, which placed third at the state spirit competition last Wednesday in Casper, are (l-r) Kelsie Mollett, Kaitlyn Grant, Raynie Martin (above), Amber Mayes (below), Mila Patrisha and Sami Newman.
Cindy Asay photo

“I felt they put it all on the line,” she said. “It’s the best they’ve ever done it this year. I felt we could have placed a little higher. Jackson girls said we had them worried. I was feeling very confident that we would place in hip-hop.”

Lovell also placed a strong fourth in the 3A jazz dance category with a score of 79.667. Lander won the title with a score of 86.667 with Jackson second at 86.167 and Star Valley third at 82.667. Placing behind Lovell were Kemmerer with a score of 77.167 and Wheatland at 71.667.

“The jazz went well,” Grant said. “There were a few little wobbly places that brought us down.”

The Lovell competition dance team includes senior four-year veteran Amber Mayes and senior Indonesian exchange student Milaviza Patrisha, third-year junior Kaitlyn Grant, second-year junior Samantha Newman, second-year sophomores Jessica Caldwell and Kelsie Mollett and first-year sophomore Raynie Martin. Caldwell is an alternate for the hip-hop routine, and Martin is an alternate for the jazz routine.

“I’m very proud of them for what they did,” Grant said. “We have some young girls who hadn’t danced very much. They improved tremendously through the year.

“I’m proud of how they bonded as a team. They had good relationships with each other and that helped the team work together. They were very encouraging and supportive of each other. They would critique and help each other and responded well to that.”

Grant noted that Martin sprained her ankle on the morning after the competition but Caldwell filled in for her seamlessly during the state basketball tournament over the weekend.

Cheer squads

Both local cheerleading squads performed well in the Class 3A non-stunt competition. Rocky Mountain placed fifth in the 16-team field with a score of 61, and Lovell was 10th with a score of 55.167.

Lyman won the cheerleading non-stunt title with 71 point followed by Kemmerer with 69.667 points, Star Valley 67.667 and Big Piney 65.5. Burlington was just behind Rocky Mountain with a score of 60.883.

The Rocky cheerleading team was led by a pair of four-year veterans in seniors Kaitlyn Hayes and Kelsea Mayfield, with sophomores Cassidy Crosby and Kennedy Despain in their second year of cheer competition. There were also a pair of newcomers in sophomores Rylee Hayes and Abigail Arnold.

“I was really excited for the girls,” coach Sally Bernhisel said. “They’ve worked really hard and did their very best. They nailed a lot of the things they’ve been practicing.

“One girl fell but only missed four counts, and that didn’t stop them.

“I was really thrilled. It was a good ending for a year of hard work.”

The Lovell cheerleading squad included fourth-year senior and team captain Shandelle Allred, sophomores Kaylee Englert, Delanee Miller, Kayla Johnston and Sable Angell and freshman Lily Jones.

By David Peck