Flagline Wins State


Kenny Wilkerson

Success is no accident, and it showed when the PMA Flagline performed in Springfield, Illinois at the Bank of Springfield Center for the Illinois Drill Team Association state finals. Prior to competing for the state title, they rehearsed their routine several times for many hours leaving coaches Darryl Gillespie, Demetrius Brooks, and Paula Novak in high hopes of winning.

“The coaches said we did really well and they were proud of all of the hard work we had put into getting to state,” said senior LuzMarie Bond Sanchez.

They left Saturday morning at 7am, stayed at the Wyndham Hotel and arrived back home Sunday morning at 12:30pm. Experiences like this can be very meaningful and something the girls probably won’t forget. The time together allowed for a lot of bonding.

“That night we went back to the room we ordered pizza and wings. We had a lot of junk food there and stayed up really late playing card games and talking amongst the team,” said Bond Sanchez.

Senior captains D’ajahnae Croft and Josseline Manzanares said the experience meant a lot to them and is something they will not forget.

“It was a bit intimidating at first. There were people there that had been competing their whole lives. We also got a lot of weird stares for being a team of all colored girls (black & Latino). I’m glad that I had this experience. With this year being my last, I’m grateful that we made it this far and that we became state champions,” said Croft.

Manzanares agreed with Croft’s sentiments.

“I had never actually experienced participating in a professional competition like that. It was amazing. Although we felt a little out of place due to the amount of girls that had been doing this competition for years. The moment I heard our team being called to receive our State Champs trophy, I felt like every bit of hard work was worth it, and I felt so much joy in knowing that we had made it,” said Manzanares.

This is a first in Phoenix’s history to have a Flagline, let alone compete for a state title and come home with a victory.