Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Cheers!

Here’s to the 2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders, the beautiful and talented 28-woman squad selected by the Wilhelmina Modeling agency over the weekend and unveiled on Tuesday

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After a long weekend of tryouts and tough decisions, 28 cheerleaders were selected for the 2004 squad, including returning veteran Jennifer Summers

When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers partnered with the world-renowned Wilhelmina Modeling Agency in March, the goal was simple: To produce 'the most beautiful, exciting and spirited cheerleaders in the NFL.'

Mission accomplished. Over the past weekend, Wilhelmina's decades of talent scouting were put to the test, as a field of over 500 applicants was narrowed down to a final team of 28 stunning women. Three Wilhelmina representatives – Jason Christeanson, Tara Intoci and Jeff Schock – served as judges as for a process that took the better part of three days and wasn't complete until 1:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning.

"We brought in Wilhelmina Models, and they used their expertise to find the best selection of women for our team," said Sandy Charboneau, the Bucs' cheerleading coordinator. "The Wilhelmina judges were fantastic. Obviously, their process of choosing models is different from the process of selecting NFL cheerleaders, but I think they knew exactly what to look for. We told them what we wanted out of the team and they used their experience from there to put together an outstanding squad."

So, without further ado, let us introduce the 2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders:

**2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders**
**Name**
**Age**
**Occupation****Squad Status**
Jennifer Abbott25Pharmacy Assistant5-Year Veteran
Clarissa Anderson19Fashion Design StudentRookie
Melanie Capello19Marketing MajorRookie
Vanessa Castillo20Psychology Major2-Year Veteran
Nichole Creadon22Exercise Physiology MajorRookie
Keri-Anne DaCosta22Graduate Student2-Year Veteran
Danielle Dolen20Mass Communications Major3-Year Veteran
Kayla Drawdy23Mass Communications Major3-Year Veteran
Dawnyale Foster26Speech Pathologist3-Year Veteran
Shana Geramita22Cheer InstructorRookie
Melissa Giovannello23Mortgage BrokerRookie
Andrea Gordillo31Dentist4-Year Veteran
Lacey Greene21Financial AssistantRookie
Jennette Harshman23Account Executive2-Year Veteran
Tomoko Kojima26NFL Japan Cheerleader2-Year Veteran
Natalie Maddox25Biologist2-Year Veteran
Carol Mays26Sixth-Grade TeacherRookie
Laine Melendy18Full-Time StudentRookie
Brooke Newton18Full-Time StudentRookie
Juneanne Nguyen21Communications MajorRookie
Michelle Penaranda22 Fashion Design Student2-Year Veteran
Lori Rumberg25Private InvestigatorRookie
Tara Steele20Psychology MajorRookie
Jennifer Summers22Mass Communications Major2-Year Veteran
Taylor Tagliarino20Marketing Major2-Year Veteran
Victoria Vodar23Graduate Student2-Year Veteran
Leigh Vollmer27Behavioral Health Clincal Coord.5-Year Veteran
Stacy Westbrook23Bio-Medical Science MajorRookie

Fifteen of the 28 members of the team are returning veterans from 2003. Those experienced cheerleaders joined the audition process on Sunday, after two eliminations on Saturday had pared the field from its original total to 100, leading to a semifinal field of 127 women. That group was narrowed down to 50 finalists by Sunday afternoon during group auditions. On Monday, each of the final 50 was given a one-on-one tryout with the Wilhelmina judges. Thanks to the across-the-board beauty and excellence of the finalists, the Wilhelmina judges went well past midnight to make their final selections.

"This process is difficult every year, but I think it was even tougher than usual this time," said Charboneau. "We had over 500 women try out, and just getting that group down to 50 was extremely hard. Then, when those women came back for their one-on-one tryouts, we saw so much more in them. It was so tough to choose among those women, but I think we came out with an amazing group."

In promoting this year's tryouts, the Buccaneers indicated that no dance experience was necessary for interested applicants. However, pre-audition classes to explain the process and introduce some rudimentary routines were held last Monday and Tuesday, and attended by approximately 450 women. With or without dance experience, the Buccaneers Cheerleaders will be asked to entertain Tampa Bay fans at games and countless community appearances.

"We were looking for women with an overall glamorous and beautiful quality," said Charboneau. "Our main focus was to see their appearance, their showmanship, their personality shining through, because that means a whole lot on the field in front of 65,000 people."

This year's auditions were not only enhanced by Wilhelmina's presence but also held several months later in the spring than usual. With just over two months before Buccaneer players report to training camp, the 2004 season – and show time for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders – is just around the corner. Charboneau said the new squad will be extremely busy over the coming weeks.

On Tuesday, however, the chosen women can take time to bask in the glow of their success. The Buccaneers intend this year's squad to be not only the most glamorous and beautiful in team history, but in all the NFL. Meeting that goal was made possible by the expertise of the Wilhelmina judges and the hard work of over 500 applicants.

"We just want to thank everyone who tried out and worked so hard," said Charboneau. "I was so impressed by everyone who came out this weekend. Trying out for an NFL cheerleading squad takes talent and guts, and all of these women had plenty of those things."

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