Sapulpa Ping Pings celebrate 50 years

Ping Pings Dance Team celebrates 50 years
Posted on 09/30/2021
(SPS) -- The award-winning, multiple title-holding Sapulpa Ping Pings ring in their golden anniversary in 2021!

The Pings celebrated their 50th year at the home football game against Collinsville on Friday, October 1. Generations of Pings, all wearing pink, attended, were recognized at halftime, and had the opportunity to talk to one another and share precious Ping Ping memories.

Dozens of Ping alums watched the Ping Ping halftime performance on the field then they all took part in the fight song.

Today's Ping Ping squad grew up knowing they wanted to be a part of the special team. They heard stories from their mothers and aunts, and watched their sisters and neighbors dance on Friday nights.

Even as little girls, they yearned to wear the 'white boots.' 

"The boots. My mom ordered some for me," said Brookyn Berry, senior Ping captain. "I would wear them to football games when I was a little girl."

And the boots are more than a symbol, they're also an achievement.

"The moment you get your white boots is the moment you know you've made it," said Ryann Hoey, senior Ping co-captain. "You have to go through all of the summer practices, you have to work for it. When you get your boots, you know you've earned your spot on the team."

Beyond the boots, Ping Pings are a family with deep roots in the Sapulpa community. They started as a pep squad in 1971, then danced with the Sapulpa High School Band. Since then, they have evolved into dance champions.

"It's fun to see them grow and turn into the dancers and people they are," said Jennifer Gardella, Ping Pings Assistant Coach.

During head coach Molly Heritage's tenure over the last five years, the Ping Pings have earned 11 state titles and the national championship in 2020! 

Read more about Ping Ping State Championships 

Watch their 2020 National Championship performance

"It's the most rewarding job, it really is," said Heritage. "We feel extremely blessed to be the coaches of this team."

The 2021-22 Pings say the history of the dance team has helped shape them into who they are.

"I'm so thankful for the first generation of Pings," said senior co-captain Maddie Craig. "If it weren't for them, we wouldn't have this amazing program."

100 participants from the Ping Mini Clinic also perform before Friday's game at Collins Stadium.

Media coverage: Sapulpa Times

50 years of pings

Photo: Sapulpa Times

pings in the 80s  2021 pings
Ping Pings in the early 80s and now.

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