BessLake Highlands 2014 grad Bess Detar has earned a spot on the 75th line of the Kilgore Rangerettes. She learned she made the squad – the first drill team in the nation – at Friday’s “sign drop” in Kilgore.

“The waiting was the worst part,” said Bess, who began the tryout process July 13 and officially danced for judges Thursday. “I barely slept and constantly had to be doing something to keep my mind off of it.”

“The sign drop moment was very emotional,” Bess added. “All of the ‘hopefuls’ were sitting on the edge of the stage with the [current] Rangerettes in front of us in their uniforms, standing in a semi-circle holding hands. The two directors said a few words and thanked everyone for wanting to be a part of the 75th line. We bowed our heads and said a prayer, and when we looked up, the sign had dropped. I have never felt so much weight lifted off my shoulders. It was such a great accomplishment.”

The first order of business after finding out she made the team (and after taking photos, of course)?

“We got sized for our uniform,” said Bess. “It was so exciting putting it on for the first time.”

The Rangerettes were founded in 1939 to attract more women to Kilgore College and to keep folks in their seats during football halftimes, but the drill team now performs all over the world. They are featured performers at Dallas’ Cotton Bowl Classic and are often seen at the Texas Black Tie and Boots Ball at presidential inaugurations (alongside LH’s Wildcat Wranglers).

“I am most looking forward to going to Ireland over spring break to perform for the St. Patrick’s Day parade,” said Bess.

Bess Detar enjoys her "sign drop" moment

Bess Detar enjoys her “sign drop” moment