Two weeks of tryouts produced a squad of 34 beautiful and talented women
In the NFL, the most successful teams get the lowest draft picks the following year. For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders, fortunately, that's not the case; after fielding a fantastic squad in 2004, the Buccaneers Cheerleaders had their pick of outstanding candidates to make the team even better in 2005.
The results, after two weeks of tryouts ending on Thursday: The most beautiful, talented and promising cheerleading squad in franchise history.
"It's funny, because you always think it's better than the year before," said Sandy Charboneau, the Bucs' cheerleading coordinator. "I know I was thrilled with the group that we selected last year, but this is the best squad we've ever had. I truly believe that. A lot of these girls really grew into it last year, and now they're even better. We came out of this year's tryouts with a great variety of energetic and talented women."
After fielding a team of 28 young women in 2004, the Buccaneers will go with a 34-person squad this season. Of those 34, 12 are newcomers to the squad and 22 were either on the team last year or have previously been Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders. Though the interview and selection process is always difficult and exhausting, Charboneau feels quite sure about the choices made this year.
"As difficult as this process always is, I think it wasn't quite as hard to narrow it down this year," she said. "We had 50 fabulous prospects [in the final group], as usual, but it was apparent that 30 or so were particularly strong candidates. We wanted to keep 34 girls this year after going with just 28 last year, and we had no problem filling that many spots.
So, without further ado, let us introduce the 2005 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders:
|**2005 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders**|
|Jennifer Abbott||26||Pharmacy Assistant||6-Year Veteran|
|Georgia Brown||22||Nursing Student||Rookie|
|Maria Cartagena||21||Accounting Major||Rookie|
|Vanessa Castillo||21||Psychology Major||3-Year Veteran|
|Nichole Creadon||23||Event Coordinator||2-Year Veteran|
|Jessica Diaz||24||Marketing Major||3-Year Veteran|
|Kayla Drawdy||24||Mass Communications Major||4-Year Veteran|
|Deshay Eurice||23||Social Science Major||Rookie|
|Dawnyale Foster||27||Speech Pathologist||4-Year Veteran|
|Megan Thomas||22||Marketing Major||Rookie|
|Melissa Giovannello||24||Account Executive||2-Year Veteran|
|Lacey Greene||23||Legal Assistant||2-Year Veteran|
|Jennette Harshman||24||Account Executive||3-Year Veteran|
|Barbara Hancock||18||Full Time Student||Rookie|
|Tomoko Kojima||26||NFL Japan Cheerleader||3-Year Veteran|
|Monica Littlejohn||26||Payroll Coordinator||Rookie|
|Deanna Lybrand||24||Interior Design Student||Rookie|
|Brooke Newton||19||Full Time Student||2-Year Veteran|
|Juneanne Nguyen||23||Communication Major||2-Year Veteran|
|Christin Norris||19||English Education Major||Rookie|
|Michelle Penaranda||23||Fashion Design Student||3-Year Veteran|
|Aimee Perkins||21||Communications Major||2-Year Veteran|
|Erica Permane||20||Marketing Major||Rookie|
|Lauren Rudolph||20||Account Coordinator||2-Year Veteran|
|Lori Rumberg||26||Private Investigator||2-Year Veteran|
|Tara Steele||21||Psychology Major||2-Year Veteran|
|Jennifer Summers||23||Mass Communications Major||3-Year Veteran|
|Taylor Tagliarino||24||Marketing Major||3-Year Veteran|
|Ryan Theriault||21||Marketing Major||Rookie|
|Victoria Vodar||24||Graduate Student||3-Year Veteran|
|Melissa Penaranda Walters||26||Graduate Student||2-Year Veteran|
|Rachel Watson||19||Education Major||Rookie|
|Stacy Westbrook||24||Bio-Medical Science Major||2-Year Veteran|
|Kristen Woodcock||22||Bio-Medical Science Major||Rookie|
The tryout process began on March 28 with a handful of voluntary workshops, with approximately 400 women formed the original field of candidates. Returning veterans joined the audition process this past Sunday, after two eliminations on Saturday had pared the field from its original total to 100. That group was narrowed down to 51 finalists by Sunday afternoon during group auditions. One-on-one auditions followed.
Charboneau was blown away by the quality of the tryouts among the finalists.
"It was all about their performances at the tryouts," she said. "These girls came out and just shined. They had charisma. We put the one-on-one interview back into the tryout process this year, and they proved to be incredible women. They brought it to a different level in the tryouts this year. It was very impressive."
Over the years, the program has built into a much more rewarding experience. There's more involvement for the girls, more opportunities for them and I think they enjoy that aspect of the program. I think everyone really enjoyed last season, so I'm not surprised that they wanted to come back.
The 34 women selected to be 2005 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders will soon begin a year of unique and rewarding experiences. While the cheerleaders' main purpose is to entertain Buccaneers fans at home games at Raymond James Stadium, the role has expanded significantly in recent seasons. Buccaneers Cheerleaders have made several high-profile trips to such locations as California, Europe and the Middle East. Members of the squad have appeared in national magazine photo spreads and made countless appearances at community events around the Bay area and beyond.
"Over the years, the program has built into a richer, more rewarding experience," said Charboneau. "There are some amazing opportunities for the girls; it's much more involved. These girls know that there is so much they can get out of being Buccaneers Cheerleaders. It's something they will remember for their entire lives."
These 34 women will begin forming those memories soon. Today, however, they can simply bask in the glow of having been chosen for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders. Not only do the Bucs believe they have put together the best cheerleading team in club history, but they hope to prove it is the top squad in the entire NFL.