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The Student News Site of Thomas S. Wootton High School

Common Sense

The Student News Site of Thomas S. Wootton High School

Common Sense

Poms concludes best season in years; place third in county

Poms+celebrates+their+first-place+victory+at+the+Northwest+invitational+on+Jan.+27.+
Photo by Gurnoor Sodhi
Poms celebrates their first-place victory at the Northwest invitational on Jan. 27.

At a football game, you might see the poms team at halftime, performing a five-minute routine filled with different types of dance. Fans may believe this is the extent of the poms season, however after the fall season is over, the team gets to work for competitions, their main season.

This year, poms added seven new dancers to the team at the beginning of the fall season. The start of the season can be a struggle, but with the addition of these new dancers, the team bonded and made sure to give each other the energy to succeed. “We worked super hard this year to push ourselves to be the best dancers we can and we also got so many amazing new dancers added to the team this year. I think the team has improved a lot from the fall season to now as we all learn how to dance as a team the more we dance together and help each other improve each day,” sophomore pom Jilli Nalibotsky said.

Poms typically attends four competitions each season, three competitions being invitationals, with some of the teams in their division competing, and one competition being the County Championships, with all eight teams in each division vying for first place. The team only competed at two invitationals this year due to weather conditions canceling one of them. Poms participated in the Springbrook Invitational on Jan. 6, and the Northwest Jaguars Invitational on Jan. 27, winning first place in both of these competitions. “My favorite competition was the one at Northwest. At that competition we competed against five of the teams we would be seeing at counties, and after having our previous competition canceled due to snow we were all eager to get back to performing, which really helped ramp up our energy,” senior captain Samantha Lau said.

After their invitationals, the team moved on to the last competition of their season: counties. While some sports have competitions and games after their county competition, Poms ends their season with the county championship, facing all the teams in their division. The county is divided into three: Division I, Division II and Division III, each with about eight schools inside the group. Out of the eight teams, the Patriots placed third in a difficult division. “My favorite competition to go to was counties because I loved seeing the other routines and I was really proud of us in the end. Our team did so well this year because of our amazing coach and captains. They choreographed an amazing routine and always pushed us to be our best. I think we also did well this year because of all the hard work the team put in each day at practice,” junior pom Ashi Stanislaus said.

The routine is choreographed entirely by the team captains. This singular routine is practiced throughout the entire winter season, different from multiple dances learned for each different game in the fall. Choreographed by captains Lau, senior Lily King and junior Maddie Sisco, the routine this year was drag queen/fashionista themed, putting a spin on the normal performances done by other schools. “I think we had a very unique and interesting theme with fitting choreography to go with the music. We also had a good mindset and a goal to prove ourselves going into competition season with how much we improved last year from previous years,” Lau said.

The winter season differs greatly from fall, as there are more routines to learn during the fall season, leaving less time for critique and technique, and focused more on creating an appealing performance for football halftimes. Once the final home football game is over, competition season is in full swing and is not over until the last seconds of counties. “We’ve gotten better at dancing in unison, and a lot of dance technique has improved thanks to all the hours we spend practicing from both seasons,” Lau said.

While the competitions and game performances are separate, the team remains the same in both the fall and winter seasons. Poms is the only sport at this school that has the same team for two seasons and spends two hours almost every weekday together practicing. All of the girls are incredibly close due to the amount of time they spend together and are like a family to one another. “In the winter season practices are much more structured as we have a goal to work towards so there is less time to goof around. Once we enter the winter season the team is also a lot more bonded from our time in the fall, so team spirit is the highest as everyone is closer to their teammates. Overall, winter season is definitely more intense in terms of schedule and practice as we are prepping for and going to competitions but still perform at basketball games and other school events,” Lau said.

Although the competition season is over, the returning poms are eager to get ready to work for next season. “Overall I think we had a fantastic season; the fall season was so much fun and I think we had one of the best competition seasons in years. While I’m sad poms is over I can’t wait for next year,” Stanislaus said.

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Ellie Mollica, Online Editor-in-Chief
Senior Ellie Mollica is the online editor-in-chief in her third year on the Common Sense staff. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family and cheering on the Wootton cheer team. You can also find her on Instagram @elliemollicaa.
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