It was a big day in Springfield, Illinois on Saturday, February 15 as the pom squads from both Quincy high schools won state titles in their respective classes and divisions!

The Illinois Drill Team Association, or IDTA State competition was held at the Prairie Capitol Convention Center in Springfield and the city of Quincy couldn't have been represented any better.

The two pom squads first performed back-to-back early in the competition. Quincy High School's Q-City Pommers took the floor first by doing a routine themed 'The Hunger Games: Girls On Fire.' Immediately following were The Quincy Notre Dame Pommers performing with a 'Las Vegas' theme. Both squads absolutely nailed their performances and hopes were high for medals and trophy's. The teams, coaches, parents and fans would all have to wait another five hours to see just how they had scored, however.

When awards time finally came, the two squads were both given validation for their months of hard work and dedication. QND's pommers were named state champions in the 1A/pom category and soon thereafter the QHS girls received top honors in the 3A/pom dance division. Two state championship trophy's were coming back to Quincy!

Quincy High School's Q-City Pommers were honored with a police escort around Quincy, followed by a reception at the high school on Sunday, where they were greeted with a standing ovation as they entered carrying their impressive trophy. The QHS pep band played and several speakers offered their congratulations.

Quincy Notre Dame's pom squad will be honored with a fire truck escort and an assembly at QND on Wednesday, February 19. This year marks the Raider pommers third consecutive state title, according to coach Jen Terwelp. Her squad is captained by Karley and Kasey Long, Lizzy Miller and Alyssa Schlepphorst.

QHS coach Amy Bannon's Q-City Pommers are captained by Kelsey Reichert and Kaliegh Kuhlman.

It was certainly a big day for Quincy and serves as something the entire community can be proud of. Having so much talent in our high schools is fantastic thing, but that talent is and was refined through exhaustive hard work and dedication on the part of both teams.

As the father of a senior pommer on the QHS squad I can tell you... these girls are among the most dedicated athletes and students our schools have to offer. While sports seasons last only a portion of the year, the pom squads work and practice year-round. As one speaker said on Sunday, 'they have a 14 month a year season.'

Practice for football season routines begins in the summer. Pom camps that last up to a week are going on at the same time. Football season runs right into basketball season and more routines and practice. Interestingly enough, the two squads actually do join together each soccer season to do a kick line routine at half time of the games between the two schools. Basketball season then overlaps with competitions and it's time to prepare for regionals and hopefully a state competition.  Now that this years competitions are over, there is still a little bit of basketball season to go, parades to be in and try out preparation for next year. Once the try outs are done and the next years squads are in place, the cycle will start all over again.

I know all the other pom parents and families from both schools join me in congratulating our young ladies on reaching the pinnacle of success in what they do. They should display those trophy's and wear their medals with as much pride as we all have for them.



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