Drill-Team Contest to Qualify for State Anything but Routine

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Byline: Eileen O. Daday Daily Herald Correspondent

Some of the best dance, pompon and flag teams in the state hail from the Northwest and West suburbs, and they'll be out to prove that at today's super-sectional competition.

The super-sectional, which takes place from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at St. Charles High School, is sanctioned by the Illinois Drill Team Association. It allows squads from the northern part of the state to qualify for the state tournament, slated for March 21 at the University of Illinois in Champaign.

"The competition should be really, really tough," says Pat McGee, an officer with the Illinois Drill Team Association. "There are some very strong, outstanding teams from the suburban area."

But if drill team competitions conjure up notions of high school girls with cute little pompons in hand, think again.

For one thing, some of the squads are coed. The drill team from St. Charles High School, for example, features a male dancer who figures prominently in their routine.

Whether or not he makes a difference, the St. Charles squad figures to be a strong contender both in the aerobic funk division and dance division, says Pat Leaf Burke, the drill team coordinator at Palatine High School and a co-founder of the Illinois Drill Team Association.

Other teams she thinks will be competitive in aerobic funk include: Antioch High School, Hoffman Estates and Buffalo Grove. Meantime in dance, look for Palatine High School to be a contender, along with the squads from Lake Park, Libertyville and Antioch.

"There's not as much lyrical dance this year; there's more sensuous jazz," Burke says. …