MORRIS – Energy. One word that is able to capture the success of the Morris competitive dance team Saturday.
“I’m really, really excited,” Morris junior captain Peighton Shannon said. “We talked about energy before and that energy is unforgettable.”
Performing in front of the hometown crowd in the IHSA Morris Class 1A Sectional, the Redskins rocked the house and turned in a first-place performance to earn a bid to state competition for the second year in a row.
“Very exciting, especially to win on our home floor makes it even better,” Morris coach Becky Struck said. “We had so many fans here who came out to support us and we are thankful for them because that helps the team with their energy. The girls rocked an excellent performance and I could not be happier.”
Performing their routine “Poison,” the girls seemed to feed off those in attendance.
“They are used to performing at home here for basketball games, but today there was added energy for a sectional competition,” Struck said. “Typically, going away to another team’s home floor makes it difficult because we are not familiar with things, but I think having it here made it much easier for the girls. They really used that energy.”
In a big way.
“It was absolutely amazing. I got out there and got chills. It was amazing,” Morris senior captain Milli Aldrich said. “The crowd was so loud. I’m so happy. We are so lucky.”
Shannon said she could tell their routine was on in the middle of the performance.
“When you hit your turns and stuff, you can tell when the whole crowd cheers,” she said. “That also brings the energy up.”
Morris finished with a team score of 84.70, which topped Minonk Fieldcrest’s tally of 83.40. The top six teams advance to state with the other four being Clinton (77.47), Normal University (77.07), Mahomet-Seymour (76.13) and Knoxville (75.83).
Up next for the Redskins is the state competition in Bloomington at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum, where Morris will try to make the cut on Friday against 29 other Class 1A schools.
The Redskins finished seventh last year at state in Class 2A.