Did you ladies ever want to be or were you ever cheerleaders? I guess that is every little girl’s dream at one time or another. I know I wanted to be a cheerleader when I was in grade school.
When you got to the 7th grade at Sharpe, you could try out for cheerleader for the basketball season. About a week before the tryouts, all of us girls would take turns leading yells in the gym every morning before the bell rang. The gym was usually full too – most of the kids got on the bleachers and helped us cheer. The higher you could jump, the louder they yelled for you. And, believe it or not, I could jump pretty high.
So, the big day finally came and we were all prepared to try to win. What made it even more exciting was that out of the six cheerleaders chosen, only two would come from the 7th grade. That made it a really big contest for all of us in the 7th grade.
About an hour before the tryouts, another friend and I were called to the principal’s office. Now, that could have meant any number of things, none of which would be good. So, as we made our way to Mr. McNutt’s office, we were both pretty scared of what was coming. We couldn’t think of anything that we had done wrong, but you just never knew.
Mr. McNutt’s office was at the top of a gazillion stairs and we got more scared as we climbed those stairs. We got to the office and there were two teachers and Mr. McNutt waiting for us.
We were both told that we had potential “C’s” on our report card and if we got cheerleader and made a “C” on our report card, we would have to sit out the basketball games for six weeks. Well, you might as well have punched me in the stomach; I was totally devastated and so was my friend. They didn’t tell us we couldn’t try out, but we weren’t encouraged to try out either. We left Mr. McNutt’s office with our tails tucked between our legs and went back to our classroom. The cheerleader tryouts went on as scheduled with two less in the running. I didn’t even want to go to the tryouts but that wouldn’t have been nice.
One of the 3rd grade teachers was a neighbor of ours and later in the day when she saw me, she asked why I didn’t participate in the cheerleader tryouts and I told her what Mr. McNutt and the other teachers had said. She was a little put out and told me I should have stopped by her classroom after getting my bad news. She also said that I didn’t have a “C” just the potential for one. She was really sweet and I do wish now that I had stopped and talked to her.
But you know, I lived through that disappointment and I still had a great time cheering for the basketball team.