‘It’s like a dream’: Detroit Lakes jazz team clinch state spot for first time since 2010 – Detroit Lakes Tribune

SAUK RAPIDS — Detroit Lakes senior Tori LaFriniere barely let the Sauk Rapids-Rice High School PA announcer utter a “D” before bursting into tears. It was the first time in 12 years that the Lakers had been called in a section dance tournament.

With a third-place finish, the Detroit Lakes Jazz Team heads to Target Center as one of three teams representing Section 4-2A.

“My heart dropped in my stomach as soon as I heard our name,” LaFrinière said. “The tears just started to roll down my face. It’s just the most exciting feeling, and we’ve been working for it all year. We knew we had a better chance this year than any other year. We had really felt like it was our time.”

The Lakers performed to Demi Lovato’s “Anyone” in an effort to send a strong message regarding mental health awareness. Many of the girls looked like they were on the verge of tears during their most important routine of the season.

The Detroit Lakes Jazz team celebrates a third-place finish and a state spot in the Section 4-2A meet on Feb. 5, 2022 at Sauk Rapids-High School.

Jared Rubado / Detroit Lakes Tribune

“The girls were very emotional walking on the floor,” Detroit Lakes head coach Britton Ramsey said. “They had a classmate who committed suicide a few years ago. The song the team danced to before us played at her funeral. They must have listened to that song because we were on deck. Everything the world was so moved, but I told them that’s the message they send with their dance, they used that emotion to tell the story today.

After the final note of the song was played, Ramsey hugged his assistant coach Haley Brower. Even though the awards show was over two hours away, they felt like they had just punched their tickets to Minneapolis.

“We felt like that was all we ever wanted from this band,” Ramsey said. “They gave us everything we asked for, and I had a feeling that would be enough to make it happen. Once we got to the halls, we told them we were so proud of them even though we took the last place. They did everything we asked them to do, and they succeeded.”

Despite finishing in the top three in nearly every regular season event, the Lakers saw their turning point come on January 16 at Foley when they reached the highest scoring in program history. That’s when they realized they had a real shot at declaring.

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The Detroit Lakes Jazz Team participated in the Section 4-A meet at Sauk Rapids-Rice High School on February 5, 2022.

Jared Rubado / Tribune

“We knew we had to come in and do our best to beat a few teams that we were neck and neck with,” Lafriniere said. “We pulled it off. They’re a really special girl group.”

The heavy performance of the Lakers was enough to beat Rocori. Detroit Lakes finished with a team score of 543 and a field goal score of 16.5, which was better than the Spartans’ 534 and 19. Becker took second, while Sauk Rapids-Rice took first. The Storm also won the high kick competition, with Rocori and Becker rounding out the podium.

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The Detroit Lakes Jazz team celebrates a third-place finish and a state spot in the Section 4-2A meet on Feb. 5, 2022 at Sauk Rapids-High School.

Jared Rubado / Detroit Lakes Tribune

Many Lakers have already attended the State Dance Tournament, but haven’t set foot on the Target Center floor. That’s where assistant coach Haley Brower brought her experience.

“I’m so proud of these girls,” Brower said. “We’ve talked all year about getting to the state and what it’s like to dance on that state floor. Because I was able to do it myself, I was able to tell them how much point it’s amazing, which doesn’t t do it justice. You have to experience it for yourself. For these girls to have the chance to do it and spread their message, it’s super important. For how hard they work and how important their message is, and to be able to reach more people, that’s huge.”

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Detroit Lakes dance team head coach Britton Ramsey, left, and assistant coach Haley Brower smile after the Lakers perform their jazz routine in the Section 4 dance meet -2A on February 5, 2022 at Saul Rapids-Rice High School.

Jared Rubado / Detroit Lakes Tribune

Ramsey coached the Lakers for 11 years and each season was a step towards that goal. She was thrilled to see several alumni of the dance team watch the Lakers land the top state spot since 2010.

“It’s just a surreal feeling that hasn’t hit me yet,” Ramsey said. “Even if you hope and plan for it to happen, it still doesn’t hit you right away. It’s been a long time coming. that’s happening. We’ve had a lot of alumni here today. Each of these teams has brought us closer together. It doesn’t happen overnight. We’ve had some really good leaders, and the girls this year don’t experienced only good leadership.

Post-season performance is all about peaking at the right time. LaFrinière thinks the Lakers gave their best in the game that matters most.

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The Detroit Lakes Jazz Team participated in the Section 4-A meet at Sauk Rapids-Rice High School on February 5, 2022.

Jared Rubado / Detroit Lakes Tribune

“It was our best of the season,” LaFrinière said. “We didn’t know if this would be our last performance or not. We all broke down and said how grateful we were for each other. We’ve always come down to watch the state dance before, but we don’t ‘ve ever We’re getting there now, and I can’t explain what that feeling is like.

On February 18, the Detroit Lakes jazz team will speak one last time. It’s one of a series of moments Ramsey has considered for this program since taking over in 2011.

“It doesn’t feel real. It feels like a dream,” Ramsey said. “I’ve imagined this 100 times, and it doesn’t compare to reality. It’s so surreal. These girls are so competitive. We’ve had hard working groups, but these kids are competitive, brave and going to do whatever it takes. They all have this attitude. They have the attitude of showing up and saying, ‘This is our year.'”

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