KILGORE — Raindrops mingled with tears on the faces of 36 brand-new Rangerettes as well as girls who didn’t make the drill team at Kilgore College on Friday morning.
Hundreds of family members and friends were on hand and under umbrellas to provide support as they waited for the announcement revealing the 74th line of Rangerettes.
Longview residents Teresa and Steve Shore, along with sons Patrick and Brian, waited eagerly to hear whether daughter Catherine would be carrying on her mother’s legacy. Only oldest brother David, an Army officer stationed in Missouri, was absent. When she was selected, the whole family was delighted.
“I’m happy for her,” Brian Shore said of his sister’s selection. “She’s put a lot of hard work into achieving this goal.”
Catherine Shore said she was over the moon with excitement about being selected.
“This is a dream come true,” she said. “I grew up watching the Rangerettes and I knew my Mom had been one. I was never pressured into following in her footsteps, but this is something I’ve wanted to do since I was a little girl.”
Teresa Shore said she’s glad her daughter made the team.
“Being a Rangerette was a great experience for me and I’m glad she’s going to have that same opportunity,” she said.
Friends Kevelyn Jones and Jazzlyn Howard, both 2012 graduates of Longview High School, tried out together. Jones made it, but Howard did not.
“I’m so happy for Kevelyn and so proud of her,” Howard said. “I’m a bit sad that I didn’t make it, but trying out was a great experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything.”
Things went a bit better for Shelby White and Taylor Walker, 2013 graduates of Kilgore High School, who each made the team.
“Words can’t describe how happy I am, not only about making Rangerettes myself but that Taylor will be there with me,” White said. “She’s my best friend and I’m so glad we’ll be doing this together.”
Another East Texas native to make the team was Leslie Rowe, a 2013 graduate of Gladewater High School. Her grandmother, Beverly Brunson Tallent, was a Rangerette during the 1960s.
Dana Blair, director of the Rangerettes, had high praise for all the girls who tried out this year.
“This was an extremely talented group and it was very difficult to decide who to select,” Blair said. “I’m looking forward to working with the new team members.”