Kickers’ celebrate anniversary with performance 50 years in the making


Genevieve Miller

To celebrate the 50th anniersary of the Colt Kickers, former Kickers and Arlettes joined the current team on the field for their halftime performance.

This fall marked the 50th anniversary of the legendary Colt Kickers. With glittery hats, high kicks and jump splits the current Kickers were joined on the field by a group of former Kickers for their halftime performance during the football game on Oct. 26.

“I wanted to give the alumni a chance to take the field one more time,” Director Jenny Knight said. “Why not celebrate the drill team in the way we are known for the most, which is dancing on the field?”

The drill team was created in 1969 and was originally called the Arlettes. Forty-six alumni returned for the performance including Linda Stanley Sewell from the very first Arlettes’ line.

“I was in the 9th grade in the spring of 1969 when they organized it,” Sewell said. “They came to Nichols Junior High in the spring and we had summertime practices. When I was in the 10th grade in the fall of ‘69 we were supposed to sit in the stands and be the pep squad but they didn’t have enough girls to go on the field so I got to go out there. It [the anniversary] was a wonderful time and I am so thankful for everyone that put it together.”

Many other alumni responded as well but the largest number to participate from a single grade was from 1976 with six former Arlettes returning.

“We ‘76ers were pretty proud of ourselves as we discovered latent memories of hand and pom routines,” 1976 Arlette Kathy Havins said. “The more we performed, the more we remembered.”

In addition to bringing back former Arlettes and Kickers, the 50th anniversary performance brought together a mother-daughter duo. Melissa Bolin, a Kicker from the class of 2003, and her daughter, sophomore Caitlyn Crumb, were able to perform together.

“Getting to perform with my daughter was a dream I never knew I had until it came true,” Bolin said. “It was definitely a once in a lifetime moment and I enjoyed every bit of it. It’s a memory I hope we both carry with us forever.”

Crumb echoed her mother’s sentiment.

“I’ll forever remember dancing with her on the field that night,” she said.

Knight came up with the anniversary idea in January and reached out to former Arlettes/Kickers via the drill team alumni Facebook page. After receiving a positive response, Knight set the date for the performance and the current Kickers learned the 50th anniversary dance in July. Knight recorded the performance and, about five weeks prior to the game, she shared instructions and the video with the alumni who were going to join the Kickers on the field. On the day of the game, they all came together for an after-school rehearsal.

“It was fun seeing some of my former students as well as Arlettes who predated me,” Havins said. “The rehearsal was fun and nervousness gave way to ‘I can do this!’ very quickly.”

The performance went off without a hitch and the alumni enjoyed their time back on the field.

“We may be 60 but we still have the memories and moves (albeit our kicks are lower and our hips don’t shake quite as fast or hard) of our senior year,” Havins said.

Many of the current Kickers also enjoyed performing with the alumni and had fun visiting with them.

“I thought it was really exciting to see them because they were all so excited to come back,” senior Isabella Rodriguez said. “I liked learning about what was different when they were in drill team and what we still do now that they did then.”

Sophomore Kaylee Withrow agreed and was also impressed with how many alumni wanted to come back.

“It was crazy how many people wanted to come back and be a part of the team again,” she said. “They have their own lives now so it’s just crazy that so many people wanted to come back to celebrate.”

The entire reunion was met with excitement and many alumni are hoping for an encore performance next year.

“We had So. Much. Fun.,” Havins said. “The others are already asking me to convince Jenny to make the reunion a yearly event.”