She taught me two cheers and coached me along. I was so scared, I can't tell you. Stage fright and all, I went out in front of the pep club, the cheerleaders (the graduating senior left a place to be filled) and Mrs. Virginia Bone (pep club sponsor) to do my cheers.
The auditions were held in the gym. I thought I would faint before getting through the whole thing. And to my utter astonishment, I was chosen!!! Needless to say, I didn't return to band! That summer, I ordered my cheerleading sweater for the winter uniform, a letter ("T") with my name on it and had the red wool skirt made. For the hotter months, we had a sleeveless white top with a red peter-pan collar and a white skirt with wide pleats made. We wore short white socks and red tennis shoes (Keds). I loved the whole experience. We were not gymnasts back then. We did kicks and pom-pom routines and the like, but we were not into the tumbling the cheerleaders are into now.
The pep rally was so much fun. We made the dummy to burn and walked in front of the band with the team from the school to the center of downtown on Thursday nights. We had a school pep rally on Friday afternoons before the game as well in the stadium.
But the most fun was game night. We were part of the opening performance and had a pom-pom routine to the National Anthem. Then the most exciting part of the game was running the team on the field from the north side of the stadium. They would come out of the lockers from the gym and run on the concrete with those cleats on their shoes. The sound was like a herd of buffalo running towards you. I ran like a gazelle out of sheer fright leading them onto the football field. It was very scary! And, of course, during the game, we lead the pep club and crowd in cheers and did pom-pom routines to the band music.
There were cold winter games that we nearly froze to death, too, but there we were out there cheering and then running back to our stadium seats to get under a blanket together. I made some close friendships with Carol Beth Bentley, Oveta Mullins, Kathy Graham, Gail Cobb, LaDonna Parkey, Linda Knox, Gail James and Joyce McIntyre. Great girls! Great memories!!
-- Vickie Keck Nowlin, Class of 1970