The award-winning Bullard Belles drill team of Bullard High School continued its tradition of excellence and high achievement during the 2017-2018 school year, bringing home numerous awards and accolades during the organization’s competition season.
“Contest season for us really start before Christmastime,” said Shelly Johnston, Bullard Belles director. “It was a really great year for our program because all of the girls on the squad this year were returners to the team, with the exception of one. We had a great group of student leaders who definitely aided in our successes this season. I feel like we were ahead of schedule this year, therefore, we were able to be ready and prepared for the task at hand since all the girls already knew my expectations and the expectations of performing during contest season.”
This year’s Bullard Belles officer corps, selected by Johnston to lead the organization, included Captain Reagan Brasher and officers Molli Majors, Mariah Melton, and Cora Pudwill.
Additionally, other members of the Bullard Belles drill team included Livi Abercrombie, Emily Berry, Aubrey Brandon, Parker Glass, Jamie Hernandez, Jaiden Knowlton, Breanna Noriel, Tori Parham, April Parks, Sara Powell, Abbie Reeves, Ally Rhodes, Eslendi Salazar, Abby Smith, Madison Wise, Raelee Walker, Layni Welmaker, and Jenna Wittman.
The Bullard Belles organization is under the direction of head director Johnston and assistant director Cecilee Walker.
According to Johnston, the preparation for contest season for the Bullard Belles begins annually during football season, adding another task to the program’s already-filled schedule, which includes performances at football games, pep rallies and community events throughout fall.
“We actually end up working double, with football season responsibilities as well as preparing our contest routines,” said Johnston. “Of course, we start preparing for our spring show during that time, as well, so there’s a lot of balls in the air around that time. We then start polishing and tweaking the routines around Christmas and the start of the season semester.”
The first event the Bullard Belles competed at last season was the annual Rose Capital Classic event, held Saturday, Feb. 10, inside Tyler Junior college’s Wagstaff Gymnasium.
“The Rose Capital Classic is always a tough contest filled with great competition, and we try to go into it as prepared as we can,” said Johnston. “Facing off against a high level of quality programs definitely inspires us to perform to the best of our abilities.”
At the Rose Capital Classic, the performances by the Bullard Belles certainly caught the eyes of the contest’s judges, as the organization was able to take home several team awards, including fourth place overall, being only six points shy of a first place finish; “Best in Class” in the medium division; High Point Award for all routines; Choreography Award for all routines; technique award for all routines; and the Super Sweepstakes award for having all scores at 90 or above.
The Belles also claimed a number of awards for performances by the team’s officer corps, including first place overall, “Best in Class” in the medium division, High Point Award for all routines; Choreography Award for all routines; technique award for all routines; and the Super Sweepstakes award for having all scores at 90 or above.
Also included in the team’s haul of award accolades included a first runner-up award for the social officers, as well as a fourth runner-up solo award for Captain Brasher.
“I feel we were very prepared before our first contest this season,” said Brasher. “With the majority of the girls already knowing everything, things ran a lot smoother, so we ended up prepared weeks before and were able to fix minor things in each routine.”
After the Rose Capital Classic, the Bullard Belles turned around the following week and traveled to compete at the Crowd Pleasers DFW Showcase, held Saturday, Feb. 17, at Timber Creek high School in Keller.
Yet again, the Bullard Belles were able to raise the bar in terms of achievements at the event, taking home awards for first runner-up Grand Champions, “Best in Class” in contemporary, first runner-up in jazz, winner of the senior small ensemble division, Super Sweepstakes, and Grade Point Average Award.
Officers of the Bullard Belles were also credited for their exemplary performances at the event, earning such distinctions as the first runner-up Grand Champions, first runner-up in jazz, first runner-up in lyrical, and Super Sweepstakes.
According to Johnston, the successes of this year’s Bullard Belles line will allow the program to achieve more in the future, as the Belles program at Bullard High School turns 10 years old in the 2018-2019 school year.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the entire drill team for their hard work and efforts this season,” said Johnston. “This has been a special and memorable year for our program, especially going into the 10th year of the program next season. It’s been very rewarding to see these young ladies achieve a high level of success this season, and we can’t wait to see what the future of the Bullard Belles holds.”