Jesuit Cheerleading: First Years
The November 1943 The Roundup introduces the cheerleaders as “the smallest and one of the most important groups of men in our school.” Later, the October 1948 The Roundup introduces each cheerleader, including girls from Our Lady of Good Counsel and St. Edwards [both later to become part of Bishop Dunne], and Merici [to become Ursuline].
The October 1949 The Roundup describes the new uniforms: “Strictly western style to match our nickname, ‘Rangers,’ their shirts are gold with blue trimmings and pants and skirts are blue.” An October 1949 The Dallas Morning News article shows the girls wearing traditional western hats.
In 1950 new blue and gold uniforms, designed by the parents of Jamile Ashmore ‘52, sported gold satin blouses and skirts and trousers of royal blue gabardine. (The Roundup, 11/50) These uniforms last appear in the 1953 The Last Roundup.
Tim Heraty ’51, who served as cheerleader from 1950 to 1951 believes: “Emotions ranged from the heights of victory to the depths of defeat. I think these experiences may have provided a seasoning and preparation to life for many of us.” Mr. Heraty remembers that the squad did not “try out” for a position but were asked to serve by the administration. However, Mr. Browning, S. J. the moderator-coach of the pep team, . . . organized and trained” the squad from circa 1950 to 1952.
The displayed megaphone is pictured in The Roundup and The Last Roundup from 1948 until 1953. The December 1955 The Roundup shows a slightly different megaphone. This edition also references several changes. A picture shows new uniforms, varsity sweaters with a “J” and megaphone. The moderator Mr. Coles, S. J. held tryouts to replace graduating members. “Many of the words of last year’s cheers were used this year with new motions added. . . Every day during P. E. period, the Cheerleaders practice in the gym.”
The December 1956 The Roundup notes: “No cheerleader has a hard time keeping a happy crowd yelling; but in the cases of Mount Pleasant and the other games which we will not mention, the yells were still wholeheartedly behind the team even though we were getting the raw end of the game.”
Unfortunately, by 1958 The Roundup needed to make a case for cheerleading as no one seemed to want to join the squad. After faculty, students, and the football team, in particular, complained about no cheerleaders, the student council agreed to address the problem: “The Student Council, working on the premise that the cheerleaders should be popular, made a list of prospective candidates and asked them if they would agree to run. . . . [Then] one of the largest publicity campaigns in the history of the school was launched as posters and handbills began to dot classrooms and hallways . . . “
The October 1950 The Roundup describes a pep rally on the eve of the Sunset game.”Yeah, blue; yeah, gold; yeah, Rangers; reach that goal . . . The stands near the practice field were jammed, . . . including the pajama clad freshmen.”