The El Campo High School Derby Doll sponsor thought a great way to celebrate the drill team’s 50th anniversary this fall is with new uniforms.

El Campo ISD trustees agreed and approved the purchase of 50 uniforms for $12,150 at its June meeting.

The uniform has not changed since the early 90s, said Jenna Zabodyn, former Derby Doll, who is in her second year as the drill team sponsor.

The current uniform consists of a white ruffled blouse, a red bolero jacket, a red skirt, red derby hat and white boots. The new uniforms will bring the former flashy look from the drill team’s first 25 years — sequined overlays, wrist gauntlets and skirt plus the derby hat — back into vogue.

“With the new uniforms, they did away with the reversible side and the ruffle down the front middle. They also added black to the trim. The uniform will be red with white and silver accents. Also, the belt and gauntlets will be sequined,” Zabodyn said.

“Something new about these uniforms is the sequin detail on the skirts,” she added.

The team will not get rid of the old uniforms, but wear them interchangeably with the new.

One tradition that stands is team members wear red derbies while officers wear white ones.

Up until the early 90s, before the most recent uniform change, that version included a stretch dress, petticoat and overlay.

Zabodyn was captain her senior year and remembers wearing the bolero jacket uniform that was reversible at the time. It was red on one side and white on the other.

“It wasn’t uncommon for officers to wear all white then. The shirt had a ruffle down the middle,” she said.

Zabodyn feels these uniforms will bring the team forward into the 21st Century especially with the sequined accents that are popular now.

“Under the Friday night lights and with the pom poms, they will really stand out on the field,” she said.

“The old uniforms were a polyester, thick, non-stretch material that could be uncomfortable. We were getting overheated and hot for those games in September and October, but the new ones are Lycra, sleeveless and have more give. They will be a lot more cooler to wear,” she added.

Zabodyn consulted with incoming officers, former Derby Doll directors and alumni for input about the new design.

Zabodyn currently has 38 members, but she ordered more uniforms to accommodate expected growth through the next few years. Despite losing 18 senior members this past year to graduation, Zabodyn’s goal is to get the numbers up to 50.

“That allows us to grow and have enough uniforms before we have to make another purchase,” she said.

The public will have to wait to see the new uniforms, though. Zabodyn does not expect to debut the uniforms until the Derby Doll alumni reunion slated for the Ricebird home game Oct. 18.

“The alumni are invited to be with us on the field. All of the ex-Derby Dolls will be able to see them,” she said.

Zabodyn expects only support and excitement from the public regarding the team’s new look, and enhanced performances from the members.

“We have had a lot of support from the public. They have seen us grow over the last year,” she said. “The girls will have more freedom of movement. They will be more comfortable on the field and the uniforms will add a lot more sparkle and dynamics to their pom and dance routines.”

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