The defending boy’s 6A state champion soccer team are back in the playoffs today at Memorial Stadium and coming with them is a team from a galaxy far, far away.
During half time, the Dodge City High School Drill Team will be performing their special Stormtroopers dance that has been choreographed by former drill team member Cheyenne Conrardy.
"We first performed as Stormtroopers for the championship game at the Tournament of Champions 2 years ago," said drill team coach Debbi Conrardy. "It was well received and we decided to bring it back this year for the soccer team."
The drill team is made up of 34 girls with tryouts taking place in March with everyone needing to try out each year, veterans included.
"I usually have 80-100 girls from both of the middle schools, Sacred Heart and high school try out every year," Conrardy said. "Once on the drill team, the girls are held to strict standards in regards to grades, attendance and behavior."
For seniors and co-captains, Aspyn Keck, Leah Stein and Miranda Soto, it is a passion.
"I started dancing in middle school and I loved performing at games," Stein said during practice on Monday. "As a team we have grown together over the past 4 years and I love performing at games and pep rallies."
For Keck, this is her second year as captain with plans on dancing in college.
"Dance is a passion," Keck said. "I danced in middle school and was a captain at Sacred Heart and I really want to go to college for it.
"I have been on the team since I was a freshman and captain the last 2 years.
"It can be stressful but fun and the performances are the real pay off in the end."
Soto added, "When I danced in middle school I didn't know what to expect. I tried out for the team and made it and now I don't see myself not doing this and want to also move on to do it in college."
For Conrardy, the team is made up of athletes, not just dancers.
"We represent all the sports available for girls at the high school," she said. "The girls also cheer, play basketball, volleyball, softball, soccer, tennis, golf, swim, cross country and track.
"I also have girls who play in the band and color guard.
"The reason this works is that drill team is a class that meets every other day during first block.
"While it is a class and a part of the curriculum, students must try out to be on the team and in the class."
"We also do varsity cheerleading," Soto said referring to herself and Keck.
"I am also on the tennis team," Stein added.
Keck also is part of the Diamond Athletics competitive dance team in Dodge City.
"When we first tried out for the high school team," Keck said. "There were only eight spots open and six of us freshman earned those spots.
"We lost one team member along the way but the five seniors on the team have been together since we started.
"I think it's really special."
Conrardy added some of the successes drill team members have acheived in the recent years.
"Chia Okoro was recruited for track at Washburn," she said, "Kaylyn Maple is going for basketball to DCCC, Brekk Flax for track is going to Nebraska and Hannah Sowers for swimming is going to Iowa.
"And of course, there are cheer and dance; Shandel Koehn went to KU for cheerleading, Lexi Estrada to K-State for Classy Cat, Amber Laskowsky, Wichita State for cheer and Alyssa Bogner Fort Hays State for cheer.
"I am so proud of the drill team. They are some of the most fun, hardworking girls you will ever meet.
"The dedication and work ethic that these girls must have in order to keep up with drill team and all their other sports and activities, is astounding.
"I am so proud to be their coach and I think they are proud to be a part of the drill team, too."
The boy’s soccer playoff game is at 6 p.m. at Memorial Stadium against Hutchinson.
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