All Male Drill Team dies without leader Eric Foley

After a second place finish at the 2007 Iowa State Dance/Drill team competition, the Ames High All Male squad did not make an appearance at the competition this last December. The team appears to be traveling downhill and into a slow extinction. Last year’s team was led by a strong senior class which became a great loss to this years team. Roman Bell, Rohan Agarwal, Keith Davis, Felix Owusu, Eric Foley and Ulfur Grant were the seniors lost. With only five of thirteen returning from the previous year and only one new member, the team was not as strong as previous years. “The guys worked so hard and it’s a bummer that numbers weren’t higher,” coach Sarah Buss said. The team was preparing hard for their state competition when coach Buss gave them the news that the numbers were too few. Iowa State Dance/Drill Team Association rules state that a minimum of 8 dancers is required in order for the team to perform. While a big part of the teams loss was the seniors leaving, tryout numbers have been getting smaller and smaller. In the last 2 years only one freshman has tried out. “I miss seeing them perform,” sophomore Paige Swift said. Low numbers could be due to lack of interest in the sport itself. “I think the boys feel they are being feminine by expressing themselves in that way; they think it’s ballet when it really isn’t.” Along with All Male not returning, the Co-ED team did not perform at state in December either. The simple lack of numbers stopped Coach Buss from being able to enter the Co-ED team into the state competition. “I was looking forward to both Co-ED and All Male for my senior year but I couldn’t do either,” senior Patrick Snell said. Snell is the only senior on the team this year. The shoes are being filled as best they can for what he has to deal with. Snell is helped out by junior Rob Tebben. The boys have not practiced since November when they found out they would not make the trip to state. “Just because they didn’t compete this year due to low numbers, doesn’t mean they can’t get back in the saddle and pull together to perform in the Spring Show.” Buss said. “They worked hard on a great routine this fall, and it’s important to me that they be recognized and rewarded for that.” The spring show is on March 29th in the Ames High Gym. The future of the team is very hazy. There is a chance that tryout numbers will increase and the sport will continue, but if the same pattern continues then the outlook for the team does not look very promising. Coach Buss is very optimistic about the situation, saying, “Of course we’ll pull together another group of guys next year, and hopefully the numbers will be higher.”