At the end of every halftime performance, the band, Indianettes, twirlers, and Indian Spirit form into an "I" formation and the band strikes up Cherokee as the formation marches down the football field from one end to the other. Former band director Frank Gioviale created the March "I". In Down the Trails of Victory written by Jon Buck Ford, Ed.D., Frank Gioviale says this about his Marching "I" creation, "Lo and behold, I didn't know it was gonna be taken like that. The people just stood up and went wild, and started hollering and everything." After that, the tradition kept growing.
Cherokee has become synonymous with PN-G tradition. Cherokee was arranged by the PN-G band director Frank Gioviale and had its origin as a half-time performance for an out-of-town football game. This first half-time performance featured Cherokee with the drum major in the long headdress down to the waist and the twirlers headdresses down to their shoulders. It was such a huge success they used it all during the year, and it eventually became the fight song.
Lynne Jeffrey, drum major and valedictorian of the senior class of 1960, wrote the Indian fight song. Once she received her teaching degree, Lynne Jeffrey James returned to PN-G as an English teacher. During her career, she also served as Indianette director. Mrs. James retired as principal of Port Neches Middle School in 2006.
The Indian Spirit proudly dances to Cherokee in a style that has evolved over the years. The Indian Spirit tradition began in 1961 with Jamie Rohe as the first Indian Spirit. As a Scout who belonged to a semi-professional Indian dance team, Jamie was asked to dance at football games during his junior year which he did for two years. At the end of his senior year, the school decided to hold a contest to see who would be the next Indian Spirit.
The Indianettes were introduced in the 1951-52 school year as an organization under the direction of the band director, Frank Gioviale. The first group started with 8 girls and grew to about 18 the following year.
*Information provided with permission from Jon Buck Ford, Ed.D., in Down Trails of Victory, (c) 1994.