“The Lone Rangers is truly THE spirit organization of Jesuit High School.” -Jim Sharp ’70, The Roundup 1968
The quest for school spirit at Jesuit has been filled with starts and starts, lurches and lulls. The first pep rally was held in November 1946. The climax of the rally “occurred when the flag was raised on an imitation Iwo Jima to denote the Rangers’ coming victory over Adamson.”
In 1948 The Roundup urged the student body to have more spirit: “The season of [C]okes and crackerjacks, of colorful bands and pep squads, of pep and snap . . . we are printing your FIGHT SONG and some of your school YELLS. Learn them and use them, fellows!” Several articles throughout the 1940s and 1950s implore the students to have more spirit.
In 1949 Jesuit had its own mascot dog, Ranger, “given to the Jesuit Fathers as a Christmas present in 1942.” Per The Roundup November 1952 Ranger died but was replaced in March 1954 by Ranger II who died one month later (The Roundup April 1954).
Finally, the mid-1960s ushered in a more consistent and organized display of school spirit. The Black Derbies spirit club formed in the fall of 1966. Each homeroom elected two representatives, both of whom were to attend all home athletic events. The next year this group was reorganized by Ray Bulger ’67 and cheerleader Lucian LaBarba ’68 and became the Lone Rangers.
Ray Bulger ’67 was named “Ranger of the Month” in May 1967. “Ray’s concern for school spirit was clearly shown in his organizing and establishing the Lone Rangers (a new club set up to help promote school spirit both on and off the field) and his overall efforts caused the senior class to vote him the most school spirited” (The Roundup May 1967).
In December of 1970 Bill Franz ’71 received the “Ranger of the Month” award for his involvement in the Lone Rangers and putting “others over his own personal gain” (The Roundup Dec.1970). The group gained a new moderator in 1972-3, Mr. Leo Watermeier.
Unfortunately, participation declined until, in 1973, the group dropped the homeroom elections and decided to open enrollment. By 1976 the group was noted as the “Most enthusiastic and well organized group in the school” due in large part to the leadership of Mike Ostdick ’77, President, and Tom Houle ’77, Vice President (The Roundup Nov. 1976).
This 1976 group revamped its constitution and Fr. Pat Koch rewarded the group with its own budget. This year also brought such a large influx of participation that its membership was limited to 30 members. Twenty were freshmen. As in the previous five years, the group continued to sponsor Ranger Day with a wiener roast. A rival spirit group, The High Rollers, tried to “duplicate the techniques of the original spirit group” but failed.
The 1976-77 Jesuit Bulletin listed the Lone Rangers as a club for the first time. The September 1977 Roundup states that “since last year” the Lone Rangers went coed, with Ursuline, for the first time. As one of “the most active clubs in school” and a group that begins work before the school year starts, the group was allowed to wear their white spirit shirts without ties on Fridays.
The group wore black cowboy hats until the early 1970s when they adopted the white dress shirt with “Lone Rangers” embroidered on the back. The ’77 year’s officers were President Vince Laino ’78 and Vice President Eddie Thomas ’78.
According to pictures in a 1970s-80s Lone Rangers scrapbook, the group had a horse at one point. However, this was not Jesuit’s first horse. The October 1965 Roundup notes: Late in August of last summer, Jesuit acquired a 185 pound horse, Otis, as Jesuit’s first official mascot.
Mr. Jeff Sandoz, S.J. and Miss Diana Mason became the moderators in 1981-2 with Bob Granger ’82 as president. In an effort to boost spirit Sandoz established the annual Silver Bullet Award. He also established three honors plaques: The Silver Bullet, The Golden Spur, and the Spirit Award.
In 2004 the administration condemned the bullet as an inappropriate, violent symbol. It was replaced with a new belt buckle under the leadership of moderator David Williams. Interestingly, the oft seen Yosemite Sam type symbol used throughout the school was also softened to erase his guns.
The Lone Rangers continued to make spirit signs for athletics and announcement signs for clubs. A Lone Ranger section was established in the stadium stands and the group hosted a “Western Week” for homecoming. Later, the group moved to standing in the walkway in front of the stands. Kip Assenheimer ’84 became president in 1982-3.
The Roundup October 1989 notes several details about the 25th anniversary of the Lone Rangers. At some point the group had parted with Ursuline, but October 4, 1989, marked the official day of a new coed partnership. Although only the boys would meet on Monday nights, the group hoped to make the organization into “more of a ‘Social Club’” and be as strong as “the days with Scott Barretto ’87. The group added new Student Council representation with Steve Richardson ’92.
A rival group again reared its head—MOBB or Men Opposed to Boring Ball games. When the group failed to gain administrative approval, it decided to join with the Lone Rangers. Now the Lone Rangers had three sections: Jesuit Lone Rangers, MOBB, and Ursuline Lone Rangers.
Again, The RoundupDecember 1991 notes, the group attempts to become coed. John Lund ’92 is listed as the Senior Leadership. And again in 1992-93, another spirit group forms: JFS, the Jesuit Fighting Seniors. Nevertheless, the Lone Rangers prevail and continue as one of the oldest clubs at Jesuit under the leadership of President Brand Greene ’94.
Mr. Seth Waits ’01 recalls that through 1997-99 the Lone Rangers continued to remain active, painting art for the breezeway and rallying student spirit during football games. However, by 2000-01 they were not sure if they were an art club, or a spirit club, or both. In 2002 Mr. Mike Earsing put David Williams, a 1996 graduate and current faculty member, in charge of the group to revitalize it as a spirit club.
Williams tapped Andrew Hansen ’03 to lead the rebirth of Lone Rangers. Hansen began a new tradition–grilling before games—to pump up the group’s spirit and the Lone Rangers finally started to rebuild. In 2004 the Lone Rangers spent its entire budget on flags to run on the field like other high schools. The Bronco flag was given to the group for free after the company that made the “run through” – the signage that the football players run through as they enter the field – messed up the order. One homecoming the “E” flag was lost and replaced by a slightly different one.
The Jesuit seniors decided to replace the dress shirts with new white Polos. Their request to have the shirts proclaim “Yell like hell” was denied by Principal Mike Earsing. Instead the phrase was translated into Latin : Clamate Sicut Inferni ,Yell like the dwellers of Hades. This phrase is in blue script on the right arm above the cuff. Today’s shirts are white with a small blue bronco and the year underneath on the front, right hand side.
According to the December 2002 Roundup the sophomore counselor Mike Moretta formed the “Sophomore Spirit Council” with 200 plus sophomores. Ten randomly picked students became the heads of the Sophomore Spirit Club. The results were great; at Junior Varsity games over 200 sophomores attended.
Bobby Morgan ’03 took the leadership, but a lack of attendance at games was once again a problem. The Morgan family (Bobby ’03, Scott ’06) donated the grill that is currently being used.
Alex Valenzuela ’10 started a new tradition known as “The Cape of Glory.” The blue cape with a gold “J” on the back is passed down each year to the senior “worthy of the cape.” According to Valenzuela, “Mr. Williams chooses the next worthy bearer and beholder of such an honor.”
In 2011-12 the Lone Rangers term was widened to include the entire student body rather than remain an organization of students who choose to join. Senior Lone Rangers, who will continue to wear the white polo shirts, serve as facilitators for planning and executing student body events. They run the flag on the field and fired the cannon acquired in 2011. Unfortunately, the cannon may no longer be used. Other Lone Rangers will be in the stands to stir the student body as they cheer the team. Home games still include the pre-game cookout.
Veteran moderator David Williams will hand over his leadership post to Austin Ryan in the 2012-2013 school year.