By Eric Butler
– Wildcadettes earn trophies at nationals.
There’s always something to prove, as long as someone is around to watch.
That’s the approach the members of the Clovis High drill team, the Wildcadettes, took while getting ready to perform Thursday night at Rock Staubus Gymnasium.
“I guess you could say it’s more relaxed,” senior team captain Jeffe’ Gendreau said before the show, which included routines from the drill teams at Gattis, Marshall and Yucca junior high schools.
“In our mindset, a performance is a performance and you have to do it to your best every time,” Gendreau said. “No slacking tonight. We have to show why we won.”
The Wildcadettes recently scored a pair of first-place finishes for their class: One was on March 5 in Orlando, Fla., at a competition sponsored by the Champion Dance Nationals organization; the other was last weekend at the Santa Fe Dance Classic.
At both events, the Wildcadettes competed in the small high schools division — a category determined by the amount of members in the drill team, not by the number of students enrolled at the school.
Clovis had 12 girls performing at the Florida competition.
In Orlando, the team saw months of fund-raising come to fruition in a number of ways, including first-place trophies in the “prop,” “pom” and “military” categories as well as the overall top mark in the eight-team field.
“This would rank high. We attended the same competition three years ago and did get first place in all three divisions,” said Wildcadettes’ coach Kym Cordova. “This year, though, they did win grand national champions, which is a combination naming them the highest group in their division.”
“The girls were excited. They fund-raised all year long and, with the help of the community and the school, we were able to travel to Orlando,” Cordova said. “Of course, they had fun while they were there.”
On Thursday, the Wildcadettes performed the three routines that earned them first-place trophies in the different categories.
“This has been the best year ever. We did a lot better,” said co-captain Heather Chretien, also a senior. “I think this is one of the most talented drill teams to go through this school.”
The routines weren’t an encore for the Clovis High Wildcadettes.
Indeed, preparation is still ongoing for the girls for another fortnight as the drill team still has the state competition coming up in two weeks, at The Pit in Albuquerque.
“We’re hoping for first-place in military and first in pom,” Gendreau said.
“We want to come home with two trophies.”