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Why We Love This Place Wednesdays: Lassen High Drill Team

Wednesday, October 9th, 2019

By Terra Avilla

It should come as no surprise to anyone that I am drawn to pretty sparkly things. Naturally, at our football games I always make it a point to stop and watch the Lassen High School Drill Team perform in their purple and gold sequins.

The whistling to keep cadence as their captain gets them into position, the glitter in their hair, the beautiful shimmering colors as they go on and off the field – they quite literally put me in a trance. The Lassen High School Drill team is one of my favorite things about football games and assemblies.

When I was assigned as the Lassen High School Resource Officer I would pop in on their practices – watching as Shelley Bennett worked her magic in coaching these girls. Shelley truly has a love of dance and, as a former drill team member herself, Shelly has kept the magic and the same hometown feeling alive within the team.

In addition, of course, you cannot have a dance team, without the dancers. They are the main ingredient of the magic.

Over the past couple years, I have witnessed girls I know literally grow up in that program. I watched them strut onto their home field for their kick routine for the first time, and four years later, I see them do their last jump-splits in the iconic uniform.

The girls are all different, but they are all the same. They share the sisterhood of being on the team. They endure practices and traveling for competitions, car washes and the joys of dance camp. They volunteer for the community, (like the VFW breakfast and Holiday with a Hero.)

Last year, with Mrs. Bennett’s help, the dance team split into teams and taught police officers from different agencies some cool dance moves to help raise more money as we rang the bell for Salvation Army. The girls have spirit and heart and talent.

The girls have so much spirit and talent that they put on a camp for little girls to be a “Grizzliette” for the day. The Drill team hosts a camp, where little girls learn a routine, play games, (and my favorite part – expend their energy for four hours) while getting to be with the ‘big girls’.

Peach was finally old enough to attend the camp and I can tell you I was so impressed with those dancers and their patience with the girls. Not only were they patient with them at camp, but also with them for last Friday’s performance. They will forever be a part of my family’s memories.

I can tell you that a lot of my friends are Lassen High School Drill Team Alumni. They all share the same fond memories and comments. Maybe they were on the team different years, but they all say the same things. They loved it. They built friendships that lasted. They cherish their memories. They consider themselves to this day, part of the Drill Team Family.

We have something special in this team. We have an organization that empowers young women to be confident. To be leaders. The Drill Team is one of the reasons I love the place we live.

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