TJC Apache Belles bring best effort for team's 70th year

Updated: Jul. 25, 2017 at 10:16 PM CDT
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Director Jasilyn Schafer with the 70th Apache Belles line.
Director Jasilyn Schafer with the 70th Apache Belles line.

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Loud music and long days are typical for the Tyler Junior College Apache Belles Drill Team.

"Monday was our first official practice, and we started that morning at 7 o' clock and we finished at 9:30 at night," says Amanda Hiles, a freshman team member.

There's a reason the team is working so hard.

"We're celebrating our 70th anniversary, and as such, there will be a lot of eyes on the team to see how they're growing and also if they're upholding the standard and tradition of excellence that the people of Tyler and TJC expect," says Jasilyn Schafer, the Apache Belles director.

Schafer knows all about that tradition because she was an Apache Belle herself from 1996 to 1998. Now, as the Belles prepare for their 70th season, Schafer is reflective.

"It has been a 70 years jam-packed with moments both small and large that have made an impact on the school and the East Texas community," says Schafer.

Over the years, the Apache Belles performed in two Super Bowls, helped form the Dallas Cowboys cheerleading team, performed for presidents, and traveled the world. This year, in addition to TJC football games, they will performing in the Houston Thanksgiving Day Parade, as well as in Costa Rica.

With a legacy as strong as the Belles, the 70th line has big shoes to fill, but they are up for the challenge.

"It's definitely going to keep the girls enthused and give us more motivation to really push ourselves, and be the best we can be thus far, for such a big year," says Bailey Miley, a sophomore team member.

"It's a lot of hard work, but it's so worth it," says Hiles. "Just being here with all the Apache Belles is a dream come true."

You can learn more about the Apache Belles by visiting their website at this link.

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