By Mike Morris

My Junior year, I was a cheerleader.  I don’t know how I was lucky enough to accomplish this, but it all started with Eloise Conger.  We knew each other casually just by interacting in passings in the halls, etc..  One day she stopped me and said we need to talk.  Wow!  What could this be?  We stepped aside and she asked me if I would be interested in being a cheerleader?  What!  Me, a cheerleader?  After the talk, I learned she was wanting to build a team of six to do Cheerleading for next year.  The team would be her, Margaret McDaniels, Ann Eliot (yes, Eloit), Bill Wristen, Bobby Saw and me.  In short, we ran and we were elected as the team for 1957. 

We began practice a couple of months before we were to attend cheerleading training at SMU.  Eloise was so good at teaching and leading us in our drills and techniques, and she was always pushing us, which paid off.  At SMU, the culmination of training was a competition on the last day amongst all the other attending teams from across Texas.  We were to put together a cheer sequence using what had been taught during the training.  We won first place!  Amazing, because we were a new team, but, moreover, because there must have been around 400 others in attendance who were really good.  So, that’s how we began our year as MHS Cheerleaders.  I could hardly believe it.  One other thing…the leader of the camp was a guy named Herkey Herkimer.  He taught a new jump for that year called “The Herkey”  We learned it and did it all during our games.  Thing is, we didn’t know it, but the “Herkey” is still used today.  Just ask any cheerleader.

We worked really hard at what we did.  I mostly lifted Ann, but sometimes Margaret, and we all got along really well.  I was kinda sweet on Ann, but she was a year older, so that meant I would be competing with Senior boys, so perish the thought.  And, of course, I loved Eloise and Margaret, but they knew that, and they loved me back.  I recently visited Margaret in Midland, and she is still as lovely and sweet as she has always been.  Such a strong person!

On one trip to Ft. Worth for a football game, we stayed in a hotel in downtown Ft. Worth.  Girls in one room, boys in another.  At the game, a few of our close friends needed a place to sleep for the night so we said, yes, come on up.  Well, word got around, and it ended up being about 15 guys showing up!  Including us, that was 18 guys sleeping in that small hotel room!  We went to the linen supply room and liberated bedspreads, pillows and blankets to cover everything so we could all sleep. 

BTW, the girls told me if it got too crowded in there, I could just come on and sleep with one of them.  Right! In my dreams!  Sometime late that night, me and Jeff Rawls got into a verbal conflict.  Ralph (Country) White told us to shut up and go to sleep.  I shut up, but Jeff said, “I’m not gonna let you (me) talk to me like that”, and I could see him headed my way.  Oh shi☆!  However, Country said, “I told you to go to sleep”, and I heard a slap, followed by a “thunk” at the word, “sleep”.  All was quiet the rest of the night.  Thank you, Country!

There were many more “happenings” that went on during those years, but I decided to thin them out to what I have just written.  Otherwise, there may be no end to them.  Good times far outweighed the bad.  On ye Bulldogs!

6 thoughts on “Cheerleading

  1. Max Berry February 15, 2023 / 10:23 am

    Nope! We want to read about all the other ‘happenings’ too. So get busy.

    BTW, earlier, you were telling about polishing and waxing our old cars all the time. That brought to mind using a ‘shammy’ (chamois) when drying those old beasts off. Do you reckon anybody today even knows what a shammy is, and why it was used, and where you might even find a real leather one?

  2. Mary Hardie Teeple February 15, 2023 / 10:23 am

    OMG Mike loved your cheerleading stories. Don’t get me started but I have to say Eloise encouraged me too. Loved her. We did the Herkey jump and got to meet him at SMU!
    Our Grandaughter learned about Herky and she is a senior cheerleader at Tascosa High school in Amarillo. Still and always will be a Bulldog fan💜💛 Mary Hardie Teeple ‘62 graduate.

  3. Anonymous February 15, 2023 / 10:39 am

    Keep the cards and letters rolling Mike. You guys were pioneers!

    • Donna R Wittie February 15, 2023 / 3:11 pm

      I remember the very first thing you learn to do in cheerleading is the Herkey!!

  4. Mike Morris February 15, 2023 / 10:42 am

    Bobby’s last name was Spaw, not Saw. My bad.

  5. Anonymous February 16, 2023 / 4:46 am

    Wow that’s what I call exciting. Now I know why Nugent and Jay MHS 63 got started. Tell us more. John

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