Perky Judy, loud and clear, give our team a rousing cheer !
There are 12 girls in all, but first and foremost are those four lovely beauties from the Class of '62; Captain Judy Pirone, Nina Pipitone, Helen Denzler and Jackie Melius.
Do you remember the pep rallies in the auditorium? .. wow! I hope the young kids today are enjoying the experience of an indoor pep rally with an auditorium full of excited, shouting students, with rousing cheers echoing off of the walls! It's amazing how the old auditorium stood up to it
To simply say they were enthusiastic does no justice to our vibrant, dynamic group of girls. Always the stadium was packed with a raucous crowd of restless teenagers; we really filled and vibrated those stands. Everyone within a mile of the stadium knew when a game was in progress. But the roar and din of the throng did not deter our girls. Confident and fearless, they stepped up and controlled the pandemonium, eyes blazing, pom-poms fluttering, performing eye-catching summersaults, lifting their megaphones, barking with girlish but commanding voices.
Our team is coming out on the field, listen-up as the girls swing into action ..
♫ Cheers of glory for Belleville High .. ♫
Hey Alex, he's our man, if he can't do it, Vinnie can, hey Vinnie, he's our man ... and on through the names of our stalwart gridiron warriors.
One of the most valuable services provided by our Cheerleaders was to keep us abreast of what was happening on the playing field during the game. The loudspeaker squawked a lot. It wasn't easy to hear the play-by-play descriptions coming over the P.A. system, however you could hear the girls and could get a sense of the action from their cheers; for example:
Hey, hey, what do ya say, let's go back the OTHER way;
suggested that maybe things had not gone well on the last play. Or;
Push 'em back, push 'em back, WAY back
hinted that we might be in trouble. And there was;
That's alright, that's o.k., we're going to win it any way!
which meant, oops! If only we could have given the ball to the Cheerleaders ..
Just when things were looking really bleak and desperate, the girls would take command of the game. Do you remember this sequence that would bring us to our feet, screaming -
Take it away, take it away, De-fense take that ball away!
Hi ho, let's go, we got the ball now fight!
Let's go Belle - ville, let's go Bell - ville
Gimme a "B" [BEEE!] ...
Let's GO, let's GO, let's (clap) REALLY GO!
First and ten, first and ten, do it again, do it again.
The ensuing touchdown by the Bellboys would release a powerful roar, the likes of which we may not hear again in our lifetime. We would leave the stadium feeling exhilarated, congratulating the team and thanking those wonderful, pretty Cheerleaders who had made the day so exciting.
All photos above are courtesy of Nina Pipitone Colannino. Nina, thank you for sharing!
Then, there was the trip home which offered it's own set of adventures -
Say, you're kinda cute. Can I walk you home .. maybe stop at O'Boyles Milk Bar for a malt??
Fast-forward 50 years, the tradition continues. Here is a recent photo of the current Belleville Cheerleaders.
For lots more photos, including the Cheerleaders at basketball games and news articles
! Don't forget, you can enlarge any photo above by clicking on it !