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Nun-turned-cheerleading coach honored at St. John the Baptist homecoming

Students from St. John the Baptist Class of

Students from St. John the Baptist Class of 1975 return to celebrate 2016 Athletic Hall of Fame inductee, Sister Elizabeth Moore, the school's first cheerleading coach, who was honored during the school's homecoming on Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016. Photo Credit: Jennifer A. Uihlein

Fifty years after entering the St. John the Baptist Diocesan High School gymnasium, Sr. Elizabeth Moore was back on the court again Sunday leading cheers with her former cheerleaders.

Moore, who coached cheerleading from 1966-1992 and now resides in Tampa, Florida, was honored at the school’s homecoming game and 50th anniversary celebration with an induction into the athletic hall of fame.

“[Moore] started most of the traditions associated with homecoming and with cheerleading, so it’s fun to see her come back,” said principal Nan Doherty.

Moore joined the St. John the Baptist community at its inception in 1966 as chair of the history department. She was asked by school administrators to coach cheerleading even though she had no experience, but she didn’t mind.

“When I first came, it was wonderful,” she said.

She was dedicated to the success of the cheerleading team from the beginning. Along with another coach, she sewed the team’s uniforms for the first several years before they were able to raise money to purchase professional uniforms. She developed the program and made a name for the cheerleading team by entering them in regional competitions.

“We did great in competition,” she said. “We normally won first place.”

Many of her former cheerleaders traveled from all over the East Coast to attend the Hall of Fame reception and celebrate Moore’s induction. Annamarie Monks née Connelly, a member of the Class of 1975, drove from Mansfield, Massachusetts to be there.

“She was a really strong woman, when there weren’t a lot of strong female role models,” Monks said of Moore. “She was like a football coach; she was strict and demanding. Back then to have such a strong female was unusual.”

Said Moore, “Most cheerleaders would say I left a strong impact on them through my values.”

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