91 young women gave their all for a spot on the 80th line of the Kilgore College Rangerettes.
By 10 a.m. Friday, 34 learned they could now proudly wear the signature red, white and blue ‘Rette uniform.
After a week of learning routines and tryouts, only a select few were chosen to join the world-famous drill team at the Sign Drop in Dodson Auditorium at the KC campus. The event is named for the way the hopefuls find out if they’ve made the cut: a sign bearing the numbers of those who earned a spot is suspended above the auditorium stage for all to see.
Tears flowed Friday morning – some from those who learned they would not become ‘Rettes, some from those who were overjoyed to have made it.
All had worked and hoped for months to become Rangerettes and some had tried before.
“Out of this world, I have no words,” was how Caroline Rhodes, of Springdale, AR, described the feeling of becoming a ‘Rette on the 80th line.
Rhodes tried out for the drill team last year but didn’t make it. She’s been training “365 days” since last year to try again.
Her hard work paid off.
Asked what her favorite part of achieving her dream to be a Rangerette would be, “Everything. The experience, everything!”
Rhodes was one of three hopefuls who traveled from out-of-state to try out this year. Others came from around the state and a few from East Texas made the cut.
Lainey Goodson, of Lindale, couldn’t find the words to capture the feeling of becoming a ‘Rette.
“It is indescribable. I am so excited,” Goodson said.
Like many of the young women on the Dodson stage Friday, hard work was an integral part of their success.
“Long, hard hours that are now so worth it,” Goodson said.
Many of the new ‘Rettes expressed excitement about a new opportunity: the drill team will travel to England this year to perform in a tattoo, a festival celebrating the music and precision performances of marching bands and drill teams.
“Oh my gosh, my dream is to travel the world so I cannot wait,” Goodson said of the England trip.
She said she couldn’t wait to wear the signature outfit of the team.
“I think that the first moment I put on that uniform, I am going to be so overjoyed. I won’t even be able to describe it.”
Assistant Rangerette Director Shelley Wayne is pleased the new Rangerette line can join the organization as they prepare for the year ahead.
“It feels really good. We have closure from pre-training and now we have a complete line and we can really start moving forward with our 80th anniversary year,” Wayne said following the Sign Drop.
Wayne said the new ‘Rettes would go through an orientation process Friday before getting a well-deserved break.
“Today our new freshmen Rangerettes will do their roommate selections and they’ll get their room in the Rangerette residence. They will size for all of their uniform pieces today. They’ll get their official Rangerette notebook that gets them started on what life as a Rangerette is going to look like. They have three weeks off and then they begin moving in August 9 and 10. We start rehearsals all together as a team August 12 and once we’re here August 12, we’re here for good.”
She noted the selection of the 80th line was a special occasion but said every line selection is important, as every Rangerette works hard to represent the world-famous organization.
“Any time you have an anniversary year, I think that’s certainly of historical importance. Every year is special in Rangerettes,” Wayne said, adding an anniversary year may receive more publicity, but each year for the Rangerettes is important.
“I don’t think that any one year is more special than the other in the Rangerettes or we’re not doing our job. They should all be special.”