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The MIHS Islander

The Student News Site of Mercer Island High School

The MIHS Islander

The Student News Site of Mercer Island High School

The MIHS Islander

An Inside Look at Being an MIDT Captain

The Drill Team performs during the Homecoming assembly.
Maddie Gaspers
The Drill Team performs during the Homecoming assembly.

Senior Drill captains Maya Evans-Riera, Molly O’Mara and Jada Luu practice from 6:15 a.m. to 7:40 a.m. almost every morning, all year round to help prepare the Drill Team for assemblies, sports games and competitions.

Evans-Riera, O’Mara and Luu, have been getting the team ready since June to develop their routines and create cohesiveness. Waking up before the sun rises proves how these senior captains are showing their dedication and love for the Drill Team.

“[Practices on] Tuesdays and Thursdays are 6:15 a.m. to 7:40 a.m. and then Wednesdays are 7:00 a.m. to 8:25 a.m.-ish. Our [competitions] are normally on Saturdays and those are full day things, so we get to someone’s house at 6:00 a.m. and then we get home from comps at like 9:00 p.m. But we do love a good Celsius,” Evans-Riera said.

Despite the fact that they wake up early, the co-captains don’t have much time to get ready for the school day because they need to fulfill their duties.

“[As co-captains] we have to make sure all the stuff is put away after practice and talk to our coaches to make sure if they have anything to tell us or if they have any updates or anything … so we usually have about ten minutes [to get ready before class],” O’Mara said.

However, these seniors have adapted to having little time to get ready for school.

“You can either go to bed at 11:00 p.m. and be fine and just wake up and deal with it or you can go to bed super super early and be fine and deal with it, but being on the team for four years kind of trains you to suck it up, you know?” Evans-Riera said.

Being part of Drill allows the members to experience sports games in different ways.

“We get the best of both worlds–so we’re not like Cheer where we have to be working the whole game–where we do the before-game rituals and then we do halftime but we can stay after halftime or we can kind of do whatever, so we have a little bit more freedom,” O’Mara said.

Even with that freedom, there is still a lot of work that comes with being a captain.

“What comes with assemblies is like six different dances put together and then multiple meetings at the country club or something like that but the officers get very close … It’s a lot. We started choreographing our first assembly in [about] June of last year and this assembly we started choreographing [about] August-July,” Evans-Riera said.

Bonding, working and dancing with each other brings the Drill Team together.

“Our team–and this is so cliche–but it is like a family, it’s more of a community where like I know everything about anyone and you see each other at the worst moments ever and the best moments ever … By the end of the year it’s just like ‘I don’t know how I’m not gonna be with you everyday,’” Evans-Riera said.

The Drill Team’s chemistry relies on consistent attendance from everyone.

“If we’re missing one person then formations are off, or if we’re practicing the kick line and one person’s gone, it can really affect how we practice,” Luu said.

Despite strict attendance rules, the team maintains a family atmosphere.

“Drill is a team sport so it’s not about the individual when you’re performing or dancing or competing, it’s about everyone together as a team so it’s really important that we have that relationship,” O’Mara said.

Even if the rules are stern, their love for this team is undeniable. 

“This is our sport, this is what we do so we look forward to it a lot,” Evans-Riera said.

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Maddie Gaspers
Maddie Gaspers, Photography Editor
Maddie Gaspers (she/her) is a junior at MIHS and is the photography editor for The Islander. She enjoys reading, listening to music and taking photos in her free time. Outside of school, she plays tennis and loves hanging out with her friends.

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