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1972 RHS girls basketball at Rolfe gym

by Jon R. Jordan
68948 Troublesome Creek Road, Atlantic, Iowa 50022-8637
Rolfe High School Class of 1972  aeawards@netins.net

I have no recollection of what started it, or what we were trying to prove. All I remember, is that some egregious wrong had been done, and in order to set it right, and make a point, Larry Loss and I were going to try out for basketball cheerleading. It's hard telling what our teenaged, self-important minds were thinking, but it had something to do with rules concerning who could and who couldn't try out for cheerleading. In a show of proud defiance and solidarity, Larry and I would go through the motions of showing up for try-outs, be asked to please leave, and run out to pronounce the incredible injustice heaped upon us by the powers that be. Somehow, it didn't work out that way.

It was the fall of 1971, and the protests against the war in Vietnam were fresh in our tiny minds. Someone had dared me, Jon Jordan, and whatever poor fool I could con into joining me (Larry Loss), to show the faculty what was what, and rock their world by trying out for basketball cheerleading. This was an activity that was completely owned by pretty, spirited, and popular girls! Especially in small town rural Iowa.
No school we were familiar with, or had even heard of, had male cheerleaders! None! It simply wasn't done. And of course, in all honesty, we had no intention of actually being cheerleaders. We were making a statement. An important lesson was going to be taught to the establishment, and we would go back to being cheerleader watchers. What a plan. What guts we had! How principled we were. What a couple of idiots!!!

You've no doubt guessed by now that things went astray. We showed up for try-outs, did the required drills and cheers (we actually practiced!), and proudly marched out of the gym with our heads held high and our sacred principles intact. Unfortunately, someone failed to tell the teachers and other faculty members on the judging committee that it was all a joke. I can only imagine the sheer glee with which they looked around the table at each other and said, "Let's give the boys what they want!" We were in! Elected to a position we did not want. What could we do but accept and make the best of it. Well, things turned out quite nicely, thank you.

After the expected jokes and ribbing from the jocks and our other fellow students, we got down to work and became honest to goodness male cheerleaders.

We got cool matching outfits that coordinated with the girls. We got to yell things like "Ram Power" into neato megaphones, and lead macho, tough guy cheers that made the gym echo with attitude. And yes, friends, we got to catch, and lift, and hold up, and otherwise hang out with Shari, Connie, Audrey, Karen, Jann and Kathy. Believe me, that's about as good as it gets for a couple of teenage American males!

We actually got sort of famous. The Ramettes were unbelievably good that year, finishing with a 14 -0 record in the conference, and missing a trip to the state tournament by one loss at the District Finals. We had already been contacted by the Des Moines Register, which was interested in running an article about our co-ed squad, if we made it to state. Oh well. Another chance for fame slipped away. It was a great ride while it lasted and still gets the attention of people to this day. And as you can tell, I have no memory of what terrible injustice led us to try-outs that day, but the great memories of a season of fun and screaming our heads off have stayed with me through the years.

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