One of Kilgore’s longest-running traditions continued Thursday as the 82nd line of the Kilgore College Rangerettes was announced. Seventy-one “hopefuls” auditioned for the world-famous dance and drill team this year, and 32 were chosen to don the Rangerette uniform.
The new Rangerettes will join 32 sophomores to make a team of 64.
Shortly before 10 a.m. Thursday, 71 young women gathered outside W.L. Dodson Auditorium on the KC campus before heading inside for the famous “Sign Drop,” when the team numbers of the Rangerettes chosen to join the line are displayed on a large signboard.
Family and friends were then let into the auditorium to cheer and applaud the new Rangerettes, as the sophomores congratulated their new teammates.
Abby Tirey, of Missouri City, was overjoyed to learn she would soon get to “wear the red, white and blue” of the distinct Rangerette uniform.
“It’s incredible and I can hardly believe it. I keep looking at the sign to make sure that my number is on there,” Tirey said.
Thursday’s sign drop was the culmination of years of work for Tirey, who said she’d been preparing to audition for the famous drill team since her sophomore year of high school.
Elizabeth Shymkiw, of Austin, overcame an injury she sustained while preparing for tryouts to proudly stand on the stage Thursday with her new Rangerette teammates.
“I feel amazing! This is the best feeling ever,” she said.
She said her sister Emily was a Rangerette on the 75th line and she’d been looking forward to trying out for her own spot on the 82nd line for a long time. Asked what she was most looking forward to after learning she would be joining the Rangerettes, Shymkiw said, “getting to move in with my roommate and getting to meet all the other girls.”
Lakin Shelton, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, said she was “shocked” when she spotted her number on the sign.
“Shocked and excited and nervous, but it’s a good feeling!”
Shelton said she had been involved in dance for a long time but spent the last year focusing her training for Rangerette tryouts. She added she couldn’t wait “to put on the uniform.”
Rangerette Assistant Director Shelley Wayne said the drill team would head straight to the Deana Bolton-Covin Rangerette Gym after celebrating at the Sign Drop because they had a lot of work ahead of them. The new team members will be fitted for uniforms, meet their new roommates and learn about what is in store for them on the team.
All new freshmen Rangerettes selected for the 82nd line will move into the Gussie Nell Davis Rangerette Residence in early August 2021. Official practices begin the Monday after move-in and continue until school starts.
New freshman members of the 2021-22 Rangerettes, listed by hometown, are:
- Austin: Megan Rush
- Austin: Elizabeth Shymkiw
- Baytown: Mikayla McMillan
- Buda: Allyson Cullen
- Celina: Zoe Dale
- Crandall: Gabrielle Robles
- Dallas: Miller Kerr
- Fort Worth: Savanah Pitchford
- Fort Worth: Fiona Shields
- Gladewater: Daisey Bewley
- Hewitt: Molly Minard
- Houston: Angie Amaro
- Katy: Brisa Cortez
- Kyle: Mackenzie Salazar
- Lantana: Blair Livingston
- Lewisville: Isabella Hall
- Lewisville: Claire Kimbel
- Lufkin: Haylee Ritter
- Magnolia: Mary Sassaman
- Mesquite: Ivana Kosteski
- Mineola: Melea Bedford
- Missouri City: Abby Tirey
- New Braunfuls: Skyler Grover
- Port Arthur: Alicia Abshere
- Roanoke: Mazie Zost
- Round Rock: Kennedy Hall
- Sachse: Brita Burns
- Spicewood: Morgan Webb
- Tomball: Megan Ramos
- Tulsa, Oklahoma: Lakin Shelton
- Waco: Eryn Flood
- Whitehouse: Bailee Boyd