Reynoldsburg High School reunion
Champion cheerleaders reunite after 46 years, share memories
Sporting big smiles and perky, bobbed hair, the 1966 Reynoldsburg High School varsity cheerleaders won the United States Cheerleader's Association grand national championship.
Forty-six years later, the "girls" still have that cheerleader "pep and polish" as mature women, and all were smiling as they greeted each other at the Reynoldsburg High School 1966-67 class reunion on Aug. 24 at Buffalo Wild Wings on Taylor Station Road.
The squad's cheerleading adviser, Ann Treacy Robinson, has tried to stay in touch with all of "her girls."
"The group was selected by me in May of 1966 and attended the camp in the summer of 1966," she said. "I coached from September 1962 to June 1966 and Donna Wolford was their adviser from September 1966 to June 1967. We always felt we shared this group of girls."
The former cheerleaders are Janice Molnar Fitzgerald, Nadine Reynolds Morse, Pam Pack Oldach, Linda Carey Reed, Linda Apple Rimbey and Janis McClelland Whipple.
All were seniors at Reynoldsburg High School in 1966, except Morse, who was a sophomore.
Robinson greeted the entire squad again at the reunion, along with members of the 1967 Reynoldsburg High School class. A second, more formal dinner was held at 6 p.m. Aug. 25 at Blacklick Golf Course.
"This is the first time the national championship cheerleading squad has been together in 45 years," Robinson said.
The former cheerleaders came from Arizona, Utah, Oregon, Texas, Dublin and Reynoldsburg to attend the reunion.
Robinson taught physical education at Reynoldsburg High School for four years during the 1960s, then stayed home to raise children, going back to the district during the 1970s to teach physical education again at the high school, Reynoldsburg Junior High School and Hannah Ashton Middle School.
She coached four cheerleading squads, beginning with the 1962-63 school year and ending with the selection of the 1966-67 squad.
"I coached that team before they went to camp and won, then Donna Wolford was their coach during that year," she said. "My 1965-66 squad won the championship for their session of camp. Linda Apple and Janis McClelland were on that squad and on the next year's squad that won the national championship."
Whipple said being on a cheerleading squad was one of the only opportunities for athletic girls in 1966.
"We didn't have a chance to letter in any other sport, so we lettered in cheerleading," she said. "Reynoldsburg was a small town back then, and it was a big deal for us."
Robinson decided to create more athletic opportunities for girls, so she started the Girls Athletic Association and the girls track team.
"We had all away meets, since we had no track at the school," she said. "I also later coached varsity volleyball, reserve softball and girls junior high tennis."
Morse now works for the city of Reynoldsburg and coordinates the Farmers Market. She was "the lowly sophomore" on the team in 1966, she recalled.
"They all took me under their wing -- they were my sisters," she said. "We were thrilled to win the national championship. We will always have that to reflect on and remember how great we felt."
Rimby lives in Texas now. She said Robinson "ran a tight ship."
"If you weren't on time for practice, you might as well go home," she said.
Hair could not be worn below the collar and uniforms had to be immaculate, she said.
She remembers a "wardrobe malfunction" at one of the basketball games.
"I told about my true embarrassing moment for Country Women magazine," she said. "They published it and paid me $25."
In Rimbey's article, she wrote that her mother cleaned her purple and white cheerleading uniform herself instead of sending it to the dry cleaner. Unfortunately, the purple and white turned lavender in the washing machine.
Rimbey said her mother then pulled out a can of talcum powder and rubbed it into the skirt panels until it was white.
"Things went fine at that night's basketball game ... until we did a cheer requiring us to pat our thighs," Rimbey wrote in the article. "I definitely got a rise out of the crowd when I started sending powdery 'smoke signals' with my skirt!"
The squad chose "The Wizard of Oz" for their championship cheerleading skit, imagining Dorothy addressing a cheerleader to criticize her "Rah Rah," which was not so peppy. In the course of the skit, they learn the secrets to good sportsmanship.
Reed said being a cheerleader taught her "how to establish goals and stick to them."
"That quality helped me a lot in life," she said.
Fitzgerald said the squad worked very hard at practice.
"I was new and I was kind of shocked at the discipline," she said. "People actually got mad at me when I goofed off."
Oldach said that discipline included academics.
"We had to keep our grades up -- Ann was tough," she said.
Robinson said she was "thrilled" to have her squad back together again.
"It was so much fun working with them back then, and they were so appreciative," she said. "There was never any arguing, which was amazing when you get six girls with different personalities.
"I enjoyed all of my cheerleading squads. Most of the girls have kept in touch and it has been fun watching their children grow up and play different sports," she said.