The Pioneer High drill team is known for its unique and innovated moves, said Frank Baez, a choreographer for the team. “It’s just a will to learn,” he said. “They don’t have to have formal training, but if they’re willing to learn, that’s good.” Besides a good attitude, the only other real requirement is having good grades, said Littlefield, who regularly checks with her team members’ teachers to make sure they’re doing well in the classroom. “Aside from the fact that you have to learn a new routine, you learn to be on time and to cooperate with other people,” said senior Jazmin Betancourt, the team’s captain. “We carry those values with us.” [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3024160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinals“I remember thinking, `I can’t do this,”‘ she said. “These girls are probably scared and really nervous.” Littlefield, 66, who is now in her 41st year with the drill team, said she isn’t necessarily looking for students with exceptional athletic ability or natural rhythm. In fact, most of the current team members have little or no formal training in dance, she said. “I just want kids to come experience it and see if this is something they like,” she said. “It’s a combination of using poms and drills. “There’s a lot of fast military moves, but there’s also a whole element of dance.” WHITTIER – It’s drill team tryout season, and the anxiety level will be high at Pioneer High School this week, where about 150 girls will vie Wednesday for just 76 open spots on drill team. For three years running, the Pioneer High team has earned top honors in the national Miss Dance and Drill Team USA competition. At an after-school preparation clinic last week, the air was charged with nervous energy as hopefuls like sophomores Ronika Calvaruzo and Amanda Chavez, both 16, did stretches and warm-ups before being put through paces by the team’s director, Marilynn Littlefield. Senior and drill squad co-captain Grace Perez, 17, recalled how jittery she was during her first tryout.