Prep Sports

Linn-Mar poms team shines once again at national tournament

HS journalism: Lions place fourth in poms, fifth in jazz dance

The Linn-Mar dance team placed fifth in the jazz dance category at the 2019 Universal Dance Association National Dance Team Championships held in the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla. (Keri Havlik/community contributor)
The Linn-Mar dance team placed fifth in the jazz dance category at the 2019 Universal Dance Association National Dance Team Championships held in the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla. (Keri Havlik/community contributor)
/

MARION — The path to success has not been easy for the Linn-Mar poms team this season.

The Lions, however, still achieved fourth place and fifth place finishes in the pom and jazz dance categories, respectively, at the 2019 Universal Dance Association National Dance Team Championships held in the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla.

According senior Brynn Carr, one major obstacle was losing Jen Hammes, the head coach, to maternity leave for a portion of the season.

“She’s the heart and soul of our team, so not having her for some of the season was really tough,” Carr said.

Megan Colby, an assistant coach, filled in while Hammes was away. Senior Myah Schilling commended Colby for her efforts.

“Taking on an entire team at our level of competition is definitely not easy,” Schilling said.

The challenges for the team did not end at the coaching change.

The team was supposed to take flights out to Florida for the competition, but due to weather, the flights were canceled, and the team had to be bussed to Orlando.

The team left early in the morning and, in about 24 hours, reached its destination. Senior Katie Frazier saw this as a moment of leadership from her coaches.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

“It definitely shows how much our coaches care about us,” Frazier said. “They easily could have sent us with a couple parents who were on the bus, but they didn’t.”

That ability to overcome obstacles has led to successful seasons for the poms each of the last four years, including a second-place finish in the poms category at nationals in 2018. The teams has placed at nationals the last four years in both categories.

Maddie Kerr, also a senior on the poms team, credited Hammes for much of the squad’s consistent success in recent years.

“She looked more towards positivity,” Kerr said. “She appreciated hard work rather than just talent.”

The pom program also had a profound effect on its members, especially the seniors.

“I’ve learned a lot of life skills like time management,” Kerr said. “I feel like poms helps you with (confidence) because you’re always in front of audiences.”

“It has taught me to be determined, to never give up and to always reach for higher goals,” Carr said.

“It’s taught me to stop doubting myself,” Schilling said. “I realized that there’s more in me than I thought there was, and it’s been a good process for me.”

Frazier also talked about life skills.

“It also taught me that you can’t get everything you want unless you work super hard for it,” she said.

The four seniors also reflected on what they will miss most with the season over.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

Thank you for signing up for our e-newsletter!

You should start receiving the e-newsletters within a couple days.

“I’m going to miss being able to show my school spirit and show my love where I come from in the pom program,” Carr said.

“I think I’m really going to miss the competitions and the camps we do in the summer,” Schilling said.

“I’m probably going to miss being with everyone all the time,” Kerr said. “Friday night being under the lights of the stadium with your whole team is so fun.”

Frazier will miss the regiment.

“I’m going to miss spending time with the girls at practice and having something to do and something to work towards all the time,” she said.

The four dancers also expressed gratitude for always having such great support around them.

“They’re amazing,” Carr said. “I don’t know what we would do without the support of our parents, our coaches, and administration.”

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.

CONTINUE READING

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.