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Alumni cheerleaders take the field
Messenger photo by Dedra Cordle
Ralene Vawter (left) and Lisa Waits Kent work on their cheers before the Grove City High School football game on Sept. 14. The alumni were there to take participate on the alumni cheer team.
To make the most of her high school experience, Martha Geyer became involved in extracurricular activities.
She joined the journalism club and the speech club, but when she was a sophomore she decided she wanted to participate in something with a bit more pep. So, she tried out for the cheerleading team.
“I thought it looked really fun,” she said.
For two years, Geyer cheered the Grove City Greyhounds on through victory and defeat, but when she graduated in 1950, her passion for the sport never went away. It even rubbed off on her daughter Terry Geyer-Wine.
After years of gymnastics, Geyer-Wine also decided to try out for the cheerleading squad during her time at Grove City High School.
“I joined because they wouldn’t let me play football,” said Geyer-Wine, a 1975 graduate.
Like her mother, Geyer-Wine has fond memories cheering on the sidelines.
“It was always exciting because you were always with your good friends and you got to experience the excitement of the games,” she said.
To reminisce and have a good time, the pair often come back to watch the football games. This year though, they took the field to cheer once again.
On Sept. 14, the mother-daughter tandem joined forces with 38 other women to participate on the alumni cheerleading squad. The squad, which featured graduates from 1950 to 2012, was led by another mother-daughter tandem.
The more recent graduates were coached by Jeanene Vawter, who graduated in 2006. The more veteran graduates were coached by Ralene Vawter, who graduated in 1976. Both of the Vawter women are cheerleading coaches for Grove City.
It was Jeanene’s idea to bring back the alumni cheerleading night and her social media savvy that brought them all together. Now, the Vawter women hope they can make this alumni cheer night an annual event.
“It was really successful,” said Ralene. “We all enjoyed doing it and the crowd seemed to enjoy it as well.”
They also had a lot of fun practicing.
Because the event was put together at the last moment, the cheer veterans had little time to get their moves perfected.
They met twice during the week leading up to game night, but a majority of their practice time came hours before kick-off.
The recent graduates had no problem learning the chants and movements, while the less recent graduates decided they would have more fun making up the moves as they went along. They also didn’t seem to be worried about performing in front of a capacity crowd either with limited practice.
“If you don’t know it, just clap through it,” joked 1979 graduate Lisa Waits Kent.
“Or just remember how to smile and have fun,” said 1977 grad Dawn Ransburgh-Miller.
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