Following in great-grandmother’s footsteps, Kilgore student becomes Rangerette on special day

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Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 9:29 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 1, 2022 at 9:30 PM CDT
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KILGORE, Texas (KLTV) - The 2022-2023 lineup of the Kilgore College Rangerettes has been announced, and for one of them, it’s becoming a family tradition.

Abby Hattaway is from Kilgore, home of the Rangerettes, and had a bit of a nail-biting week at tryouts.

“It’s nerve wracking because everyone in your town knows that you’re trying out,” Abby said.

“Did you think you were going to make it?” I asked Abby.

“I didn’t know. I was hoping. I was really hoping. I did my best so I knew that was all I could do at that moment in time,” Abby said.

But isn’t there a hometown advantage?

“I don’t think so. I think it’s honestly harder because you’re from the town and you’ve got to prove yourself,” Abby said.

Abby has been dancing since she was three years old, and according to Rangerettes Director Dana Blair, that seems to make competition tougher since many hopefuls dance:

“All the way up all through high school, and so they kind of dance their whole life. And if they want to dance in college, they’re even more prepared,” Dana said.

“Everyone has to work equally as hard,” Abby said.

And Abby has made making the drill team a sort of family tradition since her:

“Great-grandmom was a Rangerette. Fourth line,” Abby said.

The Rangerettes began in 1940, and her great grandmother, Jo Ann Brooks, was a Rangerette in 1943, and once a Rangerette, forever a Rangerette.

“She was very active in the forever organization. And when she passed, she was President of the Forevers,” Abby said.

Rangerettes Forever helped organize the Rangerette Showcase Museum, and also help out the Rangerettes themselves.

Abby says this year tryouts were about a week earlier than usual, and because of that, the day she was declared a Rangerette fell on her great grandmother’s birthday: June 30. That’s quite a gift.

The Rangerettes get a break for a week, then it’s back to the gym for workouts and practice. Their first stage performance this year is tentatively set for August 20 at Dodson Auditorium at Kilgore College.

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