Perseverance pays off for Filly

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Austin Pugh/For the DRC
Dancing to her own beat, junior Tally Hicks made it into Fillies after two unsuccessful tries.

The only thing that overcomes hard luck is hard work.

Being a Filly is not a privilege, it’s an honor.

The tryout process is grueling and it can even lead to tears, but it all pays off in the end.

To be a Filly, you have to have a great memory, be respectful, and you have to want it all.

Junior Tally Hicks felt she had the drive and was first inspired to join Fillies her freshman year.

“I’ve always wanted to be a Filly and I’ve always loved to dance,” Hicks said. “It’s a way for me to show my feelings and for me to be able to be myself without people judging me.”

Hicks likes to express herself through dancing, and this is the main reason she tried out.

“I waited with her outside of the school to hear whether she made it or not,” said Hicks’ mother, Jessica Nakos. “I brought sunflowers to try to cheer her up should the results not be what she wanted to hear.”

Unfortunately, she was unsuccessful in her tryouts the first time around.

“I didn’t see my number on the list and I realized I didn’t make it,” Hicks said. “I cried because it was heartbreaking.”

However, this didn’t stop Hicks from giving it a second attempt.

“Seeing people that tried out with me the first time make it made me want to be a part of Fillies even more,” Hicks said. “It motivated me to try harder the second time around.”

She tried out again at the end of her sophomore year but ended up falling short for the second time.

“My second tryout, I kind of expected not to make it,” Hicks said. “I felt I didn’t even do as well as my first year.”

Though Hicks didn’t make the cut for a second time, she still attended most of the Fillies’ performances and was even a part of their annual Fillies Follies show this year.

“Not being a Filly affected me throughout the school year because I went to all the football games, and I was in Fillies Follies this year since I was in dance,” Hicks said. “It wasn’t good enough for me, though. It was like a reminder that I didn’t make it, and it inspired me even more to try out again.”

Hicks’ mother shared her daughter’s pain but wasn’t sure how to console her.

“There is nothing worse than seeing your child hurt and not being able to do anything to fix it,” Nakos said.

Hicks nearly gave up on her dream of being a Filly until she received some words of encouragement from senior Jamitrice Keating-Lynton, captain of the Fillies.

“I didn’t plan on trying out for the third time,” Hicks said. “Jamitrice talked to me at mock tryouts, and I decided that I had to be a Filly.”

At her third Fillies tryout, Hicks gave it all she had and ended up making the squad.

“When I found out that I made it, I started crying and jumping around,” Hicks said. “I couldn’t believe I was actually going to be a Filly.”

Sharing the joy with her daughter, Nakos said their whole church was behind Hicks.

“My husband and I, as well as her sister, Brooklyn, prepared for the worst but prayed for the best,” Nakos said. “With a huge amount of support and love from her family and church community, she found out on a Friday night that she had made it and everyone at church congratulated her as soon as they saw her.”

It was Hicks’ drive that led her to become a Filly, and she said that kind of determination can lead you to do great things in life.

“I’ve tried out for other organizations all through high school, but Fillies is the only thing I really wanted,” Hicks said. “It just goes to show if you really want something and put your heart into it, you will be able to do anything in life.”

FLORIBEL NUNEZ is a sophomore at Denton High School and a participant in the Denton Record-Chronicle’s “Speak Out Loud” program for student journalists.

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