Thursday, July 21, 2011

EHHS Cheerleaders

Speaking as a former lad with good recall of what it was like to come of age and start noticing girls, I can report that cheerleaders caught my attention first. You couldn’t miss them, of course…what with those swinging pony tails, bright colored skirts, and familiar cheerleader arm moves. Since raising my own cheerleader prospects, I had the opportunity to observe that a cheerleading gene must reside in most young girls…they start practicing the moves sometime about 5th or 6th grade...all through the house, In the garage, the yard, out shopping, in and out of restaurants, just about anywhere and everywhere.

Almost from the first day in 7th grade, the pep rallies started and continued unabated every fall until we graduated. For each successful cheerleader there must have been several dozen others that would have loved to have the spot. Since our cheerleaders were so visible and generally cute, an ambitious lad would normally focus his attention on one or more of them. Dating them was possible in Junior Hi, but without a car, what was there to do?

Our Meadowbrook cheerleaders, Gay Burton, Celia Beall, and Julie Hudson gave way to Handley's Dianah Barton & Suzanne Hoffman during our Sophomore year who held onto the spots all through EHHS while we were there. Unfortunately for those of us unattached lads, both Dianah and Suzanne were locked up with steady boyfriends all through high school so, we never got a chance to date them. What a shame.

I didn't mention the guys because I was always focused on the girls. If a boy had some athletic ability or even some pretense, he played the sports. We didn't see boy cheerleaders in Jr. Hi., so their addition at EHHS was actually viewed as a negative...they took the spots we could have used for more girls, and thus a better show at the pep rallies. Back then, cheerleading wasn't as athletic, nor as dangerous as it has become with the addition of gymnastics to the mix.

Our boy cheerleaders (Charlie Rigby, Danny Tekstar, Felton Havins, Ward Ruscoe, David Thurman, and George Branum) were generally personable and energetic, yet not among our top scholars. However, they surely had something on the ball, since they must have been the first among us to learn something about the girls, we in the stands had mostly not learned. First, 110-lbs of dead weight is heavy, no matter how attractive its packaging; and second, I don't think there was a lad in the stands or on the field who wouldn't have liked to give that chair lift deal a try.

  1963-1964 Highlander Cheerleaders
 1964-1965 Highlander Cheerleaders

1959-1960 Highlander Cheerleaders (EHHS' first squad)

 1960-1961 Highlander Cheerleaders (EHHS' second squad)

 1957-1958 Poly Parrot Cheerleaders (One of the last 2 squads before EHHS opened)

(Ed. note:  Before EHHS opened fall 1959, the large majority of Meadowbrook Junior High graduates went on to Poly High School.  For the first few years that EH was open, there was a strong influence in its halls from both Poly and Handley High Schools.  These influences were mostly due to familial ties through older siblings and parents, who themselves were Poly graduates.  A number of the original teaching staff had transferred to EH from both Poly and Handley...Coaches Mitcham and Graves were both Poly grads and were football stars there in the late 1940s.  Principal Roy C. Johnson had also been a Poly coach and Meadowbrook's Principal Charles M. Berry had been both a Poly teacher and coach in the mid-1930s)

I crack myself up....

No comments: