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Jazz, pom excellence earn 2 state crowns
Young FHS team learns from UT disappointment

Brentwood came to Knox County last summer and took a prestigious first-place award right away from a young Farragut High School Varsity Dance Team with some growing to do and some kinks to work out.

Those kinks were worked out, and a more seasoned FHS team — despite having just one upperclassman — marched over to Brentwood's side of the state and got revenge, bringing back a TSSAA state championship (Small Varsity Jazz division) Saturday, Dec. 5, in Murfreesboro.

Having lost to Brentwood and finishing second in Jazz during The University of Tennessee's annual Universal Dance Association camp last summer, “They have been one of our big competitors the past five or six years,” said Adonia Adams, second-year FHS head coach.

“Once we lost to them at camp it was a big disappointment ... we were really upset about that. ... We had a very young team coming in that was kind of intimidated at first.

“But we saw our weaknesses, we saw the videos over and over and over,” she added. “We fixed everything in our dance down to a T.”

Senior Alicia Purcell, the team's only upperclassman, said about the UT effort, “That was our sole motivation at state, just to get back at them and show them that we are the stronger team.

“We were very confident going in,” Purcell added. “It was more excited nerves.”

About finishing behind Brentwood at camp, sophomore co-captain, Katie Sullivan said, ”We got really upset because we thought we did good at camp. And so we just came back and dominated them at state.”

Christine Guerrette, sophomore co-captain, said, “I think we were very confident. I think we went into it with a lot of hard work and a lot of hard practice throughout the year.

We've improved a lot since previous years, and this year we've grown as a team,” she added.

Other team members are Katie Hartman, Jenna Mills, Hannah Doyle, Leah Robinson, Caitlyn Krueger, Sarah Krahl and Kelsey Rubens.

About what the state title meant to her, Purcell said, “This is definitely the highlight of my high school years, definitely the highlight of my senior year.”

Practicing twice on some days leading up to state, Adams said, “They were extremely worn out, but they knew the hard work was going to get them all the way to first place. Once they went out there, and I saw them dancing, I knew they were going to win first.”

Winning the program's second-ever state title (along with 2005), Farragut has placed in the top three at state for five straight seasons.

Sullivan said about Adams, “I think our coach, Adonia, pushes us to the fullest and she makes us push stronger.

“I don't think I've ever been that excited in my life,” Sullivan added. “I was one of the happiest days of my life.

“My cheeks hurt, I smiled so big.”

Guerrette said, “When we went out there we felt like we had something to work for,” she added. “I felt like the whole team had come a long way, and I felt just as a whole team that we had accomplished so much.

“It was, like, a great feeling, and I've never been happier because we've worked so hard for it,” she added. “And if you put your all into something ... you feel so much accomplishment.”

Faculty team sponsor is Tracy Moore.

Heading to Disney World Orlando, Fla., to the UDA Nationals in February, Farragut will compete both in Small Varsity Jazz and Small Varsity Hip-Hop.

Last season, Adams' Farragut Middle School team finished fifth nationally in Jazz.


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