Recalling the Cheers from Old Central High

Duluthian Barbara Burud was Once a Cheerleader at Old Central High School in Duluth; to this Day, She Continues to Cheer

DULUTH, Minn. – Sporting events happen every day with players and fans gathering to see who will win the game, but we often forget about the choreographed athletes on the sidelines.

One local woman has never stopped recalling the cheers from her time at old Central High School in Duluth.

“That’s the old chimes from Central,” said former cheerleader Barbara Burud as her clock rang noon.

Chimes from the old clock tower now echo cheers inside the home of this lifelong Duluthian.

“I used to go in my backyard and pretend I was a cheerleader,” said Burud. “My mother kept saying, why are you doing that? I said, you know mom maybe one day I’ll become a cheerleader!”

A hopeful young girl with a goal of getting chosen one day.

Barb would spend her junior year trying out for the team.

“Didn’t make it then and I said oh forget it,” said Burud.

She later bounced back, making the squad her senior year.

“I was the only one from my class that was ever a cheerleader,” said Burud.

This Central star would spend the next year of her school life, feeling honored. Barb took her passion to the ice, the field and on the court.

“I had so much fun cheerleading,” said Burud. “We didn’t do cheer like they do now days, they do really fancy things; we didn’t do that in our day.”

She and her squad kept it simple, yet sweet. There were female athletes on the team.

“I remember the first time I came on the stage and started cheering, my class all stood up because we had never had a cheerleader from my class,” said Burud.

A standing ovation she didn’t realize would last a lifetime.

“When my grandchildren were small they would say grandma would you cheer for us?”

With Central pride still strong at heart, Barb was brought back to her days with the girls.

“My grandchildren would just sit and watch me cheer,” said Burud.

Watching, yet wondering what their Grandma could still do with her talent.

“They’d say, well do the splits like you used to do, and I said sure I’ll do them. I did the splits and I’m telling you I didn’t walk for two days,” said Burud.

But age hasn’t kept Barb from being active in cheering. The 83-year-old admits she’ll always be a Centralite.

Burud exclaimed, “That’s Murry!” This, as she looked over to a festive bear dressed up in a small rocking chair near her television.

Her family will often take her to sporting events, but even when she’s not in the stands, she’s close by the TV with a squad of her own.

“I’ve always dressed Murry up for special occasions whether it’s a UMD game, the Vikings or the Wild,” said Burud.

Decades after her big debut at Central sporting events, Barb continues to recall her old cheers; never forgetting the place where it all began.

“To this day every time I go by my old school, I put my hand over my heart and I say thank you Central for all the good times,” said Burud.

Barb and her husband Jim Burud have been married for 63 years. He also helps her cheer on their favorite teams at home.

Barb says Jim was originally a “cake eater” from Duluth East when they met.

Categories: Community, Features, Minnesota, News, News – Latest News