0With the high school football season officially at its end for the 2016-2017 school year, the Lassen High School drill team has shifted their focus to basketball.
The first league game for the varsity boys’ basketball team will not be held until Jan. 13, but the Grizzlies have been playing pre-league games since Dec. 1.
While the boys’ have been testing out their skills on the court, the Grizzliettes have been there to support during every home game.
The girls have faced some challenges from the transition of football field to basketball court as both the stage and audience vary greatly.
With the only similarity between the two types of audiences being their avid support of Lassen High, the girls have had to adjust their routines and impressions without losing their signature elegance.
Coach Shelley Bennett has expressed that one of the largest challenges for the team has been the sudden adjustment of switching to a new dance style.
While performing for football games, the girls marched onto the field and were very locked into their core with military style.
Now that their performances are on the basketball court, the Grizzliettes are adjusting to the freedom of a hip-hop style.
Bennett said, “The girls have to get used to getting down onto the floor and using their bodies in different ways with hip-hop.”
Fans can rest assured, however, that the drill team will continue to execute their signature sharp moves and techniques.
Bennett later continued, “Hip-hop is still sharp, but is very different with posture, rhythm, attitude, even facial expression.”
Another adjustment the team is juggling with is the close proximity of the audience.
Bennett hinted that the performances at basketball games will include some tricks to prompt the crowd to partake in the dance.
As performers, the girls intend to take full advantage of the close audience, as the lack of space is a perfect opportunity to encourage interactive dances.
During the varsity halftime on Tuesday, Dec. 13, the drill team performed to a remixed version of “Jingle Bells,” while donning their favorite Christmas sweaters. The holiday season has certainly resulted in a pinch of jolly added to the routines.
Bennett commented that theme-based routines add a sense of fun to the choreography. The team is hoping to experiment with themes throughout the basketball season, including Winterfest and Valentine’s Day.
From what she has seen so far, Bennett said, “This team has strong leadership and choreography skills in our captains Aricka Pettengill, Gracie McCoy and Rachel McCoy, and our other seniors who bring experience and tradition to the team. We also have some great new talent in our new members who have brought in a fresh perspective.”
With the drill team season only half complete, fans can expect more great things from the Grizzliettes.
Regarding the New Year, the girls are looking forward to serving some high-energy hip-hop routines to keep the audience entertained during varsity basketball games.
Bennett commented, “We are hoping to get some alumni involved in choreography and continue to celebrate 50 years of drill team culminating at the Grizzliette show on May 5.”
The 2016-2017 drill team has represented the Grizzlies well. As the team continues to celebrate their 50th anniversary, audience members can continue rooting for purple and gold through and through.