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Midvale Journal

Hillcrest High drill wins back-to-back region titles; made every moment count

Mar 30, 2023 03:19PM ● By Julie Slama

The Hillcrest High drill team participated in New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day parade. (Photo by Jeff Day/

True to its theme this year, “Make it Count,” Hillcrest High’s “HD” drill team did just that, according to the team’s coach.

“I call this year’s team the ‘golden team’ because I just loved this year so much and we had such an amazing group of girls,” Hillcrest drill coach Chelsea Divine said. “Every single girl worked hard and left it on the field and the floor. We did so many amazing things this season and they made each moment and opportunity count. They were grateful for it, and it felt like an extra special year.”

That includes a recent trip to New York City where 24 girls were to perform in the St. Patrick’s Day parade. It’s the fifth time Divine was invited to bring a team to the Big Apple.

“We do a kick line and people always love it because the Rockettes are famous in New York, so when they see our girls doing it, they get excited,” Divine said, adding that many of the Hillcrest High community were planning to tune into the national television broadcast.

While in New York, the student-dancers also were scheduled for a private dance classes and masterclasses so “they learn that dreams do come true. I always want my girls to shoot for the stars and learn from kids who are close to their age and see what they’ve accomplished,” the nine-year coach said.

This squad’s season started with a parade for Midvale’s Harvest Days as a good way to perform for the community, Divine said.

HD also performed as part of Dance for Life’s suicide awareness gala both at Capitol Theatre and at a Real Salt Lake game.

“It was really cool. They invited us to be a part of it and our team performed a hip hop routine,” she said, adding that they performed with other drill teams at the soccer stadium.

HD first bonded during a summer retreat where they did the rope course at the Olympic Park.

“It was a super cool thing for them to learn how to overcome fears and have resilience; they figured it out together,” Divine said. “It was a cool moment for them to realize they can do hard things and what all they’re capable of. It set the attitude for the season.”

While performing for school events and games, the team also prepared for its competitive season.

“We had an amazing competitive season,” Divine said.

At their first invitational, at Herriman High School, HD took second overall. It was followed up by a fourth place at the Bountiful invitational.

“Another reason I call them the ‘golden team’ is because of their resiliency. Every time we’ve been faced with an obstacle, or we’ve had a disappointment, they’ve continued to press forward and keep a positive mindset and continue to work hard,” Divine said.

The team bounced back to take third at the Roy invitational.

“The thing that was special about this is 5A is so talented and so competitive. The top five teams were incredible and all of us had wins and we all had losses,” she said.

HD came together to peak at region and repeated its championship.

“They swept first place in all routines again, which is great. There are some talented teams and that’s a lot of pressure to come back to repeat the title,” Divine said. “Winning region is definitely a big highlight. It was fun having moments like that and being a coach to such a great team.”

At the Feb. 4 state finals, the team got fourth place in show with their chameleon routine and fifth in miliary and dance for a fifth overall placement.

“We were so proud of them—and not just on the floor,” she said. “Our girls set goals for the day as well as overall. They were very driven to become the best that they could and that included academically. Our team average GPA was a 3.6 average GPA; that’s pretty amazing.”

With seven team members graduating, Divine is shifting gears too next season. Tryouts begin Tuesday, April 11.