The Spirit of Six: 55 years after tragic loss
RAPID CITY, S.D.– 55 years ago on Friday, Rapid City High School experienced a tragic loss. On March 17, 1968, six cheerleaders and their advisor were killed in a plane crash. They were on their way home from the state basketball tournament in Sioux Falls. The pilot and his wife also died. To memorialize the cheer team South Dakota Peace Officers created the “Spirit of Six” award. The honor goes to the team that excels in crowd control, sportsmanship and dress as well as conduct on and off the court.
Legacy of six Rapid City Cheerleaders remembered with annual award:
This year’s recipient, the Stevens Cheer Team, brings the award back to Rapid City 55 years after the heartbreaking loss. Stevens High School Head Cheer Coach Jamiee Exner says, “It always hits a little bit harder to bring it back home knowing that these were six lost in our community. We talk with our kids and our coaching staff that that could happen to any sport, any club at any time. Accidents happen. And so to know that we’re representing Rapid City with pride is a huge accomplishment to us.”
A memorial was erected in front of Rapid City High School in memory of those lost in the plane crash.