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SPORTS - "Bear River Hi-Steppers set for new and exciting changes"

BEAR RIVER HIGH – By Cari Doutre – April 10, 2020

It wasn’t that long ago that Stevie Aoki once held a spot on the Bear River Hi-Steppers drill team. As a 2004 graduate of Bear River High, Aoki spent three years as a Hi-Steppers (back then freshmen were not eligible to be on the team).

Serving as team captain her senior year, Stevie left high school and moved onto adult life, which included a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources and a master’s degree in Business. She is currently employed with Intermountain Healthcare.

But now Stevie is back at Bear River High as the Hi-Stepper’s new head coach and back to her old stomping grounds.

“I can't express my excitement to be part of this team,” Stevie said. “My philosophy for drill is to build character by working hard and being happy. Success comes through focus, determination and doing what you love.”

In addition to that, Stevie has big plans for the Bear River Hi-Steppers team.

“I want to do something different,” Stevie said about the program.

One of her biggest priorities as head coach will be promoting hard work, dedication and even a challenge to the next crop of dancers. Stevie will also stress the importance of autonomy among the girls.

“My motto is ‘If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you,’” she said.

Stevie also wants to get the dancers excited and ready for a fresh new start.

“I want them to be excited and to see some fresh new faces and have the opportunity for new ideas,” Stevie added.

Joining Stevie on the coaching staff is Starlee Buttars, also a former Bear River Hi-Stepper.

Starlee graduated from Bear River High in 2016 and was a four-year member of the Hi-Steppers team. She will be graduating from Utah State University this year with a bachelor’s degree in Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education. Starlee will continue her education pursuing a master’s degree.

I am so excited for this experience. I knew when I was little that I wanted to be a Hi-Stepper and I knew when I was a Hi-Stepper that four years wasn't enough. I wanted to come back as a coach to share my love of drill team,” Starlee said.

“Starlee is fantastic,” Stevie added. “She is going to bring so much creativity and enthusiasm to the team.”

This spring, with the recent COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic that shutdown all public schools in Utah, and as ordered by the Utah High School Activities Association, sports and all other activities have been suspended until at least May 1.

The date for tryouts for the Hi-Steppers team has yet to be determined. An announcement will be made after April 30.

Bear River High has also postponed the Meet the Coaches night. That date will also be announced after April 30.

Looking past the COVID-19 shutdown, Stevie is excited for what the future holds for the Bear River Hi-Steppers.

“It’s going to be a really fun year,” Stevie said.

For more questions on tryouts, email them at:

Or, visit their website by clicking on the link below.


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