Well, we survived the early debut season despite how stressful it can be to be ready for a November meet. I always admire the teams who got both routines out there before we hit the first major invite weekend of December – that’s no small task!
Scores have been coming in like a flood lately – make sure you’re keeping up with those. The new format is throwing me off when I just do a quick glance-over on the summary page. I swear I’m looking at execution scores when really, I’m looking at creativity. Gonna take some getting used to. As expected, the scoresheet is a bit of a learning curve. I for one am focusing on each individual judges’ scores, rather than worrying about point spread from judge to judge these days. I’m seeing good internal calibration, but a calibration across a panel of judges who haven’t been together before isn’t quite as tight as in previous seasons. We’ll get there as the season goes along. After all, how can you judge a Minnesota average when there’s no history? Glad that’s not my job to figure out! I’m always grateful we use a rank system which allows these point spread issues to be a minimal factor. Enjoy the ride my readers – this December is about to heat up!
Apple Valley Invitational: The classic start of the dance team season happens at Apple Valley this Saturday as the AVaires host an all-classes meet. AAA will get interesting with Edina and Spring Lake Park leading the way. We’ll also see the debut of the brand-new Owatonna varsity kick team – be sure to catch that. Class A will have a big division this year with Crosby, Cannon Falls, Zumbrota, Lake City, PACT, Randolph, Duluth Marshall, and St. Charles all making appearances from last year’s state field. AA feature teams include Sartell, Mound Westonka, Orono, Austin, and South St. Paul. AAA in the morning, A/AA will be afternoon.
Hutchinson Invitational: The Hutch invite will feature much of section 3AA as Waconia, Marshall, Albany, Glencoe, Delano, Belle Plaine, Willmar, and Jordan join Hutchinson for the AA battle. A small class A division will see the debut of Litchfield who just moved down to class A this year.
Detroit Lakes Invitational: The northern A and AA teams will be bursting into action for the first time this year at the Laker’s invite. Class A will see Frazee debut their season alongside section 4 competition from Pelican Rapids and Bagley. AA will include Foley, Pequot Lakes, Alexandria, Detroit Lakes and Moorhead.
Chaska Invitational: The AAA only invitational will be one of the first key battles for the AAA teams that have mostly been in closed conference events so far. The Chaska gym is nice and snug, so get out there early if you’re planning to watch this one. Mounds View, Eastview, Chaska, Prior Lake, and Wayzata all appear from state 2017. Keep an eye out for top bubble teams from Hopkins, Eden Prairie, and Blaine all try to make a move up the early season ranks.
Forest Lake Invitational: This invite has been gaining bigger names each year and this year is their best matchups yet. Duluth Denfeld, Faribault, and Rockford are the not-to-miss performances of AA. The afternoon matchup of AAA teams will include Henry Sibley, Anoka, St. Cloud Tech, Centennial, Sauk Rapids Rice (In their AAA debut), Forest Lake, and Maple Grove all with recent state experience. This one should be fun to speculate over.
Catholic Jamboree: This year’s annual catholic school event will be at Cretin Derham Hall. A fun and light-hearted event, with a focus on performance and charitable causes. No schedule at time of release.