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Fans don’t leave the gym when these girls take the floor

The Warren Devilettes next compete Sunday MundeleHigh School. | SPECIAL TO SUN-TIMES MEDIA

The Warren Devilettes next compete on Sunday at Mundelein High School. | SPECIAL TO SUN-TIMES MEDIA

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Warren placed 1st out of 16 performances. Warren’s score was approximately 89. 2nd was Sandburg with a total score in the 72 range.


Warren placed 1st out of 29 performances. Warren’s score was 93.23, beating 2nd place Stevenson (92.60), and 3rd place Lake Zurich (84.27).


Warren placed 2nd out of 24 performances. Stevenson came in 1st with a 92.3 total, Warren was second with 90.5, with Fremd in 3rd at 89.2.


Warren placed 1st out of 28 performances. Warren’s score was 91.5, beating 2nd place Lake Zurich (87.3), and 3rd place Fremd (87.1).

Updated: March 3, 2013 2:40AM

True story about the poms/dance team — the Devilettes — at Warren High School in Gurnee.

Last month, when fans were filing out of the Blue Devils’ gym after the boys basketball team lost to rival Zion-Benton, several were talking about the disappointing defeat (from the Warren side).

But others were talking, not about the basketball game, but about the halftime performance put on by Warren’s poms/dance team — the Devilettes.

Here’s the general rule of thumb from the poms/dance side of the room:

Any time you can get basketball fans talking about the dance routine instead of the basketball game, you’ve got something special going on here.

The operative word being “special.”

So far this season, Warren has finished first in three of its four competitions, and second in the one it didn’t win.

Next up is a meet at Mundelein on Sunday, which will then be followed by the IHSA-sanctioned sectional meet at Grayslake North.

This is the first year that the IHSA has run a state tournament series in poms/dance. In past years, it was sponsored by Team Dance Illinois, and at the TDI level, Warren teams traditionally did very well.

What’s different now is that in TDI, there were different competitions for different types of poms and dance (jazz, hip-hop, etc.).

Under IHSA rules, everybody competes against everybody else, with teams separated only by school enrollment.

Against that new backdrop, the Devilettes have ruled this winter as they head into the crucial month of January.

In the IHSA setup, there will be five sectional meets in the state on Jan. 19, and three divisions at each site based on enrollment. The top six finishers in each division at each sectional will qualify for state.

Warren coach Sarah Stepek noted that “while we have had great success so far this year, this is a very tough sectional for 3A, and some good teams will not advance to state.”

As for the 3A sectional at Grayslake North, Warren’s coach made these observations:

■ 12 of the 16 3A teams in the Grayslake North Sectional qualified for state at TDI last year in at least one style of dance.

■ Of the 12 teams, 10 of them finished sixth or higher in at least one of their styles, and seven finished in the top four or higher in at least one style at state.

■ Last year, at the TDI state meet, Warren finished fourth in Hip Hop in the big-school division.

■ One of this year’s better-performing teams is Libertyville. Last year, Libertyville was in a smaller-school division than Warren and wasn’t competing against the Devilettes.

Besides Warren and Libertyville, other Class 3A teams competing at Grayslake North from this area include Barrington, Lake Zurich, Stevenson, Mundelein, Waukegan and Zion-Benton.

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