The Salem Hills Highschool Drill Team was named academic state champions at the state semifinals at Utah Valley University on Jan. 23, where they competed. This means that they had a higher combined GPA than any other team in 5A. Their combined GPA was 3.822. According to coach Dayna Adams, how her team performs in the classroom is the first priority.
“Academics is our first priority,” Adams said. “We tell our student-athletes that school and academics comes first. Drill Team is to add to your experience in high school, but grades and doing your best outside of practice is what is most important and will help you be successful on and off the floor.”
On the floor the team did well placing, 10th overall after barely getting knocked of the wild card position by Murray High School to go to the state finals. Coach Adams said that despite some setbacks, the team did well.
“It was a successful day and these girls killed it,” she said. “What people don’t know is literally one week and 24 hours before they took that floor on Tuesday, we had to change all of our routines twice because of some unforeseen health issues and other factors amongst the team. So, for them to place and get the wildcard with all that on them and hit their routines solid is a feat in and of itself.”
This was the first year for this coaching staff, and Coach Adams said the team rose above adversity.
“It’s our first year as a coaching staff so a lot of changes are being made to the way the team has been trained,” she said. “It’s always a shift when you bring in new coaches to a team. We have had our struggles for sure, but we get through it and keep pushing forward to grow and sustain an amazing program for years to come. The girls we have on this team are incredible athletes and we are excited to continue through the coming years with some but hate to already see some of those seniors go. We are so proud of them and will never forget this team that will truly be the steppingstones to hopefully a long career and legacy to be born at this school with this program.” (Anderson Brown is a sophomore at Payson High School.)