Instead of continuing to let the sound of the gun firing ring in their ears, students all over America have been drowning out that sound with their plans to make this the last school shooting while remembering those who lost their lives. In the case of the Hi-Steppers, this meant dancing in honor of a victim who was a dancer herself.

The Hi-Steppers traveled to Fort Worth, Dallas over the weekend of Feb. 17 to compete in a Crowd Pleasers dance contest held at Timber Creek High School. The drill team showed off their hours of hard work, and were incredibly successful at the contest.

“We placed 3 out of 118 for our opening piece,” junior Faith Walker said. “A lot of preparation and practice went into that piece.”

The team also won the Artistry Award for their team dance, best in class award for their opening dance and their lyrical dance, and got second runner up Grand Champion Team.

There were a lot of things that happened for the first time in Hi-Stepper history at this contest.

“Our score was the highest in Hi-Stepper history, and we also choreographed our team open dance by ourselves,” junior Bella Nichols said.

Apart from these accomplishments, the Hi-Steppers were filled with a lot of emotions during their last contest of the season due to the recent Stoneman Douglas shooting in Parkland, Florida.

“We learned that one of the victims in the Florida shooting was a dancer,” Walker said.

Her name was Jamie Guttenberg. The team worked as a whole to honor her, and ended up dedicating their lyrical dance to “Hallelujah” by Pentatonix to her.

“It was a honor to dance for her since she got the opportunity taken away last week,” Nichols said.

There were a lot of other obstacles placed in front of them during the contest, and their emotions were at an all time high. Three members of the team had the flu, some were diagnosed with strep, and many of the girls had broken toes.

“We helped each other get through the weekend,” Nichols said.

Despite everything that they had to face, the team was able to continue to push through. It was a meaningful and successful ending to their seniors’ last ever high school level competition.

“This contest was one of our hardest ones because we competed against bigger schools and most of teams are trained differently than us,” Nichols said. “Our scores showed that we dance from the heart.”

Written By Cameron Horst, Sports Editor