A new group of young women will soon don the signature red, white and blue uniforms of the world-famous Kilgore College Rangerettes.

The 81st line of KC’s precision dance team, started by the late, great Gussie Nell Davis decades ago, was announced Wednesday morning at the Dodson Auditorium on the college’s campus. The ceremony, always marked by both smiles and tears, was slightly different this year, as ‘Rette hopefuls donned face masks, practiced social distancing and anxious family members waited outside in their vehicles.

Eighty hopefuls tried out for a spot on the 81st line and 32 of them can now call themselves Rangerettes.

They are:

  • Saranda Adame, Deer Park
  • Ivy Adams, Lantana
  • Isabella Benavidez, San Antonio
  • Kylie Benavidez, Tatum
  • Emmy Brozak, Richardson
  • Josephine Craighead, Cibolo
  • Kylie Dauper, McKinney
  • Nevaeh Davis, Lufkin
  • Katelyn Dickerson, Beaumont
  • Emma Geiman, Alvin
  • Bella Guzman, Richardson
  • Samantha Hebert, Plano
  • Sarah Johnston, Wichita Falls
  • Erin Killingsworth, Rowlett
  • Brea Landry, Beaumont
  • Lexi Leftwich, Combine
  • Cella Linebarger, Carrollton
  • Sydney Lowe, Justin
  • Hannah McLendon, Keller
  • Grace Montes, Lufkin
  • Hannah Nauert, Austin
  • Allegra Norman, Farmers Branch
  • Katie Rock, Plano
  • Abbi Schoolcraft, Troup
  • Ashley Schutte, Garland
  • Baylie Senkel, College Station
  • Ivy Sepulvado, Friendswood
  • Abby Stainback, Whitehouse
  • Rhyan Stoker, Nederland
  • Karis Toleman, Denton
  • Mariana Vega, Katy
  • Lindy Weisman, College Station

“It’s crazy. I just wasn’t expecting it. I’m so excited,” said Isabella Benavidez, of Helotes, which is near San Antonio. Benavidez said she had preparing a long time for this moment and was thrilled to join the ‘Rettes.

Many of the new ‘Rettes had lifelong dreams of joining the famous organization, where they are asked not only to perform at halftimes of Kilgore College football games, but become American iconic symbols, perform at bowl games and Presidential inaugurations, and even perform internationally, as they did in London last Thanksgiving week.

“It’s a very huge day. That’s why I started dancing, just to work up to this,” said Saranda Adame, of Deer Park.

“I started (dance) when I was three, and seriously started when I was in eighth grade,” Adame said. “I’m beyond excited. I can’t even put it into words.”

“It feels amazing,” said Alvin’s Emma Geiman.

“I’m just so honored and blessed to be able to be a part of this. It’s crazy how my journey has come,” Geiman, who has been a dancer for 15 years, said.

“Rangerettes was something new that came up to me this past year over the summer. Ryan Wayne (Rangerette Left End Lieutenant and daughter of assistant ‘Rette Director Shelley Wayne) actually was the one that talked to me about it. I’m so excited. It’s such a cool experience. For them to be able to even do this while we’re in COVID, it’s awesome, to get to come here and do it live.”

Wednesday’s events took place in the midst of restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and all of the young hopefuls donned masks and face coverings and also had their temperature screened before entering the auditorium.

KC sent out a press release Wednesday announcing the decision.

“The announcement, made in a closed ceremony in Dodson Auditorium on the Kilgore campus, culminated an abbreviated version of ‘tryout week’ due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the release read.

“Eighty ‘Hopefuls’ tried out this year for a coveted position on the 81st Rangerette line.

The new Rangerettes will join 34 sophomores to make a team of 66.

The Rangerettes were the first of their kind when they began in 1940 as Davis’s vision. The Rangerettes are under the direction of Dana Blair, director; Shelley Wayne, assistant director; and Angela Aulds, assistant choreographer and dance technician.

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