(Scott Welton, Staff)
"I couldn't do flips or anything so I knew cheerleading wasn't the way to go," said Sarah, treasurer of the organization. "My mom was also a Red Pepper, so she told me what it was all about, and I knew I wanted to do it."
She isn't the only high school girl who feels that way. Jessica Rataj, this year's Cayenne -- the highest office for the organization -- is a third-generation Red Pepper.
"I've been in love with it as long as I can remember," she said.
Last week, the dream of becoming a Red Pepper became a reality for many girls during "Greenie Week," when the initiation takes place. It wrapped up Friday with a Greenie Parade from the school to the downtown area.
"The Sikeston Red Peppers are the oldest and probably the largest pep club in the state of Missouri," said Wanda Throop, who sponsors the Red Peppers along with Sarah McGill and Tricia Keefer. Red Peppers have been in existence since 1928.
Like Rataj and Hopson, Throop said many of the 200-plus girls who call themselves Red Peppers have family ties to the organization.
For the complete article and more stories from the Standard Democrat, click here to log on to the electronic edition.