DCC ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT – PRISCILLA MARTIN PRATHER
Priscilla Prather cheered for the Cowboys during the 1990-1991 season where she performed on the legendary Texas Stadium field. Originally from Mesquite, Texas, Priscilla grew up admiring and idolizing the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders; however, in her mind, becoming one was just a dream and not something she thought she would ever actually be able to attain. That all changed one day in 1985 when a high school friend made her dreams come true and successfully made the team. Priscilla stated, “This inspired me that I could achieve it as well. Why not? It seemed like a mountain worth climbing and a dream worth fighting for.” In 1987 she decided to pursue her dreams and made it to training camp the first year she auditioned. Even though ’87 wasn’t her year, she was passionate about her goal and continued to audition for 4 more years before finally achieving her dream. In 1990, she could be called one of America’s Sweethearts! During those 4 years of auditioning, Priscilla had an ongoing battle with her health as she fought Crohn’s disease. While on the team, she had a scar all the way up her stomach from a surgery she’d undergone prior to making the team. This scar represented the obstacles she had to overcome during her journey. Priscilla said, “There was always a part of me that wanted to prove to myself, and everyone else, that I was capable of reaching my dreams. In 1990 I came in with a different mindset from the prior years, and that made the biggest difference.” I asked Priscilla, if she could go back in time 30 years to the football season of 1990, which DCC memory would she choose to relive. After some reminiscing she stated, “I would choose to relive my very first time to step on the field at Texas Stadium as an official DCC. I can sit here and remember my exact feelings during that time… you’re lining up and everyone is leaning over the stands to catch a glimpse of you and you suddenly realize just how big the stadium is. I was terrified, but just couldn’t stop smiling.” Since her time on the field, the iconic uniform has had a few changes made to it. When I asked her to describe the biggest alterations, she simply stated, “Our boots weren’t cowboy boots yet, our shorts were longer, and our pom pons were bigger.”
After retiring from DCC, Priscilla got married and moved to Houston with her husband who was a pastor. From Houston, she made a big move up north to Wisconsin, where the Green Bay fans were fascinated with her time spent on the sidelines with the Dallas Cowboys since they did not, and still do not, have cheerleaders. After quite a few years spent in Packer nation she moved back to TX with her husband and two kids. Back in her home state she graduated from college at the age of 42 and began her teaching and coaching career. Priscilla stated, “Everything I learned during my DCC journey, I implemented in my teaching and coaching. I enforced to my kids that failure is important, overcoming obstacles is important, and fighting for your success is important.” Last year Priscilla won ‘Teacher of the Year’ for her school district and this year she was an HEB finalist for the ‘Rising Star Teacher’ award. With all that being said, I asked her what biggest life skill she took away from her time on the team. Without hesitation she stated, “The first is the importance of being a good encourager and leader. The second was how high of a standard I was held to as a DCC, it was engraved in me to hold people in my life to that same high standard as well. I had to rise to that standard during my journey to make the team and I use that to encourage other people to do the same.” Priscilla currently lives in San Antonio, TX, with her family and is an active member of the DCC Alumni Association.
Interviewed by DCC Lily