She’s got spirit

By Keeley Sheehan

Jessica Monastra baton twirled her way through senior year.

Jessica Monastra baton twirled her way through senior year.

For Jessica Monastra, a nonchalant decision in high school helped her meet her best friends.

During her junior year, the school’s Majorettes approached Monastra, 21, West Harrison, and some of her friends about joining the team for the next school year. Much of the team was graduating and they were looking for fresh faces to pick up their batons during the next season.

She agreed to go to a meeting at the end of the summer to be polite, but as the school year drew to a close, she had no intention of actually going. She didn’t think much of it during the summer.

Just before the start of her senior year, she got a call from one of the team members about the meeting. The girl convinced her to attend the meeting, and to her surprise, she ended up liking it.

Not only did she end up meeting her best friends through it, but she also got to try something she hadn’t done before.

“The only thing I’d ever done was softball,” she said. “This was completely new and different.”

With the Majorettes, she performed at her high school’s football games, participated in her town’s Columbus Day parade, and competed in Virginia, where the team won a silver medal.

The hardest part was memorizing the routines and keeping up with the beat of the school band that they performed with at football games, she said.

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One response to “She’s got spirit

  1. Lead: 4 Good tease of a lead. It pulls me in and wants to know what decision she made and how it got her friends. Solid storytelling techniques here.
    Interviews: 2/3 The content of your piece shows the holes in your interviewing. You got the story, but you didn’t dig deeper.

    Why did she like the majorettes’ meeting? What happened there? What convinced her it was right for her? How was it to learn? Did she get frustrated? How does she feel when she is twirling …marching (not sure of the proper verb here)? Majorettes are sometimes stereotyped. How does she respond to that? Does she fit the stereotype? What sort of friendships has she made? Why are these girls her friends? What do they all have in common? How did the friendships evolve?

    You get the idea. You don’t have to answer all these questions in the piece, but knowing the answers and weaving bits through the story will animate it and make Jessica more real.
    Grammar: 3/3

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