The 2016 football season will mark the Eaglettes’ 60th year of performing.
Established in the spring of 1955, the Eaglettes became the first drill team in the Richardson Independent School District. Composed entirely of junior and senior girls, the 1956 fall football season was the first opportunity to perform. Eaglette uniforms consisted of white blouses, ties and purple felt skirts. As fate would have it, it rained during their first performance, and their felt skirts shrank and faded. Felt skirts were then changed to corduroy.
Sara Fickertt was the Eaglettes’ first director, and continued her position for five years. During this period the uniform was changed to a white long sleeve crop top, purple cummerbund, white skirt, white top hat, and majorette boots.
Carol Hancock became the second director in the fall of 1961. The membership of the team at this time was forty-eight line members, eight alternates, and five officers. Alternates were only allowed to perform if a line member became ill or didn’t know the routine.
In the early 60s, team members were asked to design a new uniform. A contest was held, and the winning design was a white military jacket, white military skirt, white shell, and a purple sequin dickey. The white top hat and majorette boots remained.
Drill team summer camps became popular, and the Eaglettes attended the American Drill Team Camp at S.M.U. Routines in those days focused on military, props, and high kicks.
The Eaglettes’ third director Patsy Owens came into her position in 1965 when Carol Hancock left to have a baby. In 1969, Barbara Harmon became the fourth director and stayed with the organization until 1970. Carol Hancock returned as the director in 1970 and remained until 1997.
The first revue, “The Cotton Blossom” was presented in 1962 in the auditorium of the Administration Building on Greenville Avenue. Every year since the Eaglettes have presented their annual revue in the spring. In 1983, the creation of a high kick routine finale to Neil Diamonds “America” became the traditional number at the end of each revue. The Eaglette Revue is the part of the program that allows the girls to broaden their dancing talents. In addition, they learn to choreograph, costume, stage, and produce a stage show.
Former Eaglette Elise Eleanor designed the Eaglette’s “stick chick” logo. The Eaglettes’ original signature performance piece “Confidence” was custom choreographed for the team while attending “Tops in Twirling and Drill Teams Too” camp in Kilgore, Texas in 1976. The choreography changed over the years, with the current version dating to 2000.
The Eaglette uniform continued to change over the years. The white jacket became purple; the sequin dickey was replaced with a ruffled dickey; the top hat added a purple sequin headband and the boots had purple fringe added. The uniform is the traditional military uniform. Other uniform parts were added to give the girls the opportunity to have some variety. A reversible purple and white flare skirt, white long sleeve shirt, gold vest, “R” overlay, fringe overlay, and a cowgirl hat with a gold sequin headband were incorporated into the uniform.
Chrisi Ream became the fifth director in the fall of 1997. Allison Smiga became the sixth director with the 1998-1999 team.
A new tradition was begun in 1999 with the seniors retiring their hats on a large “stick chick” at the end of revue. The 1999-2000 team had the honor of performing in a complete new ensemble of uniforms, including the change from top hats to cowboy hats. The top hats were worn with the Military uniform and were then fully retired with the fringe boots in 2002. In 2005, the team was honored to have a corporate sponsor and updated more uniform pieces, including the pep rally uniform, new belts, a new R overlay, A-line skirts and neckties.
A drill team prep class was added in the fall of 2005 to prepare Eaglette hopefuls for tryouts in December each year. The hopefuls become Rookies for those girls who made the team. The first Rookie class was established in the spring of 2006.
Liz Thompson served as co-director with Allison Smiga 2005-2008. Liz became the sole director fall of 2008. At the 2010 Revue, an updated “America” was revealed. In 2013, the Eaglettes bid a fond farewell to Ms. Thompson, who moved with her family to Colorado. In 2013, the Eaglettes welcomed new Director Kelly Fishback, who had served as Director of the North Garland drill team before coming to RHS.