Imagine waking up at 5 a.m. to go to Jesuit to practice your high-kicks and dance moves two days a week, going to a long day of school every day, and then going to practice three times after school every week during football season: this is the life of a Jesuit Rangerette during the fall.
The Jesuit Rangerettes are the drill team from Ursuline who are the stars at half-time. The Rangerettes are very committed to their performances, practicing several days a week. Rangerettes have quickly become one of the main attractions at the Jesuit games whether it be friends cheering on their Rangerette; friends, parents supporting their children; or people who came for the football but are dazzled by the intricate and beautiful routines the Rangerettes perform.
“I love being on the Rangerettes, but it’s a huge time commitment. I have learned how to manage my time, but it was difficult at first. Luckily for me all the teachers were really understanding and helped me during tutorials when I needed to go,” said Maggie Kelly a freshman and first year Rangerette at Ursuline.
The Rangerettes started in 1971 and lasted until the late 1980s when the team had to stop performing due to a “cultural change.” However, the team did not stay down long because Linda Coffin restarted the Rangerettes in 1996 along with the support of the Jesuit principal at the time.
The Rangerettes perform at the Jesuit football and basketball games, but they also compete at dance competitions. The team must put in extra effort during all seasons due to the rigorous dances and level of perfection expected.
“Rangerettes is one of my favorite things I do because it lets me be active and make friends with girls I would otherwise probably never talk to,” Emily Martin, a freshman and first year Rangerette, said.
The Rangerettes also hold a high standard for themselves and the rest of the team. As stated on their website, the girls are continuously awarded with the highest GPA award at the competitions and are some of the most well-rounded girls in the school. The Rangerettes are held to a high standard that you can achieve with hard work and dedication.
With the try outs in April, many girls are already starting to get prepared the current members for the tryout process. The tryout process starts the week before actual tryouts with teaching the girls the dances for tryouts. The Rangerettes mostly focus on jazz and routine dances so many girls come with a dance background; however, it is not required.
The outfit worn to tryout is very minimal, so the candidates can be judged only on talent. They wear black shorts, white t-shirts, jazz shoes, and tennis shoes for the tryout process.
Once the possible Rangerettes have learned their new dances, the tryouts start. The next week the girls do their tryouts and start out with 100 points. The better they do the fewer points they lose, but if they are unable to do the splits, for example, there would be a five point deduction from the 100 point total.
“The tryout process was intimidating to me at first, but I was quick to learn that everyone was really nice and helpful,” said Maggie.
The girls are so well rounded because of the focus on sport, school and additionally, community service. The Rangerettes are very involved with the community, which is part of why they make such an impact at Jesuit and Ursuline. Throughout the year the girls go to various places to help the community.
In the team, a service organizer is chosen but they have to be a sophomore or an upper classman. They annually do the trunk or treat which is set up during a Jesuit football game; the seniors decorate a tree at a hospital downtown; and they collect toiletries for the homeless shelter. They also hold a clinic for the little Rangerettes.
In order to be Rangerette, you have to go through the tryout process, be prepared to put in hours of preparation and dedicate extra time to help those that are more unfortunate, train the little Rangerettes, and keep up the stellar reputation that is expected from the popular half time performers, the Rangerettes.