Hawkline wins at national competition


It’s never easy becoming national champions, but for the ULM Hawkline, sometimes you have to lose to return and come back fighting stronger.
“Their determination was everything. Last year, we got first runner-up, and they weren’t satisfied. They wanted to win,” said Sonni Bennett, the Hawkline coach.
Hawkline recently competed at the American Dance/Drill Team National competition in Denton, Texas. They competed in the Division 1A Hip Hop category against Baylor University and the University of Texas at Austin.
For Hawkline co-captain Hanna Byrd, who loves to compete, her last nationals was nothing short of a dream.
“Winning nationals definitely made all of the long and tough practices worth it. I am graduating, so there is not another nationals for me, but I think we did an amazing job this year, and it is a perfect way to end my senior year of Hawkline,” Byrd said.
As a senior business administration major, Byrd said managing school and practice was tough.
“If it wasn’t for my teammates, I wouldn’t have gotten through it. We were able to balance it all because we love what we do and found a way to get it all done,” Byrd said.
Co-captain Emily Healy said having 15 girls and two coaches for support and encouragement through rough patches and the stress of a busy schedule helped balance dance and school.
“We’re all really close, so we always are encouraging each other, making each other laugh and praying for each other, in the good times and the bad,” Healy said.
Healy, a senior communications and Spanish double major, has been on Hawkline since she first came to ULM.
Like Byrd, holding her team members’ hands and becoming champions was an amazing moment for Healy to see.
“During the awards, we were praying they were going to call our names, and when we heard ‘ULM Hawkline,’ I’ve never seen a group of girls so excited,” Healy said.
She is very proud of her team and is excited for one more year with Hawkline.
“Each year, we keep getting better and better, so I’m pumped to see what is in store for us next year. The team has different strengths each year, depending on the group of girls, so it’s hard to predict what next year will be like until tryouts are over,” Healy said.
The day after the competition, Hawkline celebrated their win at Six Flags Over Texas, located in Arlington, Texas.
“We were all wearing matching Hawkline shirts, so when people asked us what kind of team we were on, it felt good to be able to say our dance team won nationals,” Healy said.