The age requirement for UIL Athletics was 7th grade, and all boys and girls were highly recruited regardless of their size, athletic abilities or academics.
Warm bodies were needed to fill a rooster of players, managers, water boys, and score keepers with no prior experience.
To be a member of the Marching Band...well, you just had to be big enough to fit in a uniform...which could be altered...be able to put one foot in front of the other, and be able to carry an instrument...no playing of said instrument or music background required.
So was the way of a small Class B School in West Texas, and the way my sister Tootie was able to be in the Marching Band as a 5th Grader. As a 9th grader, I had two years of playing the clarinet and marching under my Plummed Band Hat. Yes, I said clarinet! Tryouts in the 7th Grade were brutal with 12 of the 15 girls trying out to play the same instrument. There was an over abundance of reed suckers which led to some of us 'carrying' a Saxophone with instructions not to blow...just concentrate on marching.
Tootie got one of the last small sized uniforms which obviously had been altered for someone smaller, and because she could walk and chew gum at the same time, she got to beat a snare drum. The hat? Lucky for her she had thick hair and the hat had a strap.
I was a year ahead on practicing the figure eight, palm spin, behind the back catches and high tosses which was so noted by the Tryout Judges. I must thank my parents for encouraging me even after the tosses wrecked the ceiling and the palm spins spun out of control...it was only our first black and white TV and Rabbit Ears were easily replaced...TV...not so much.
Twirling remained a part of my skills for many years, and I could catch a spin behind my back well into my...well, let's just say my last years of teaching Elementary PE. Lucky for everyone we practiced in a high ceiling gym where High Tosses and out of control Palm Spins caused minimal damage.
Those little Wannabe Majorettes were pretty impressed that I still had my
Baton and Boots from my First Twirler Tryouts.
See, Mother, I told you they would be a good investment!
In fact, if I had them today, they would be priceless!