It took three weeks of intense tryouts to produce the 2008 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders
Last year, members of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders visited Hawaii, Australia, South America and numerous other points on the compass, spreading good will, cheer and Buccaneer spirit whenever and wherever possible.
And it all started in a local gymnasium. Before any young woman can represent the Buccaneers on the sideline and in locales near and far, she must make her case for inclusion on the squad through three arduous weeks of tryouts. Last year's 30 Buccaneers Cheerleaders squad was formed in this manner, as was every team before it.
The most recent tryouts concluded late Thursday night. Will this squad be as impressive as those that came before them?
Without a doubt. The team has chosen 32 remarkable women to form the 2008 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders, forming its promising crew yet. The announcement was made at noon on Friday, after the 51 finalists spent the previous two days showing off their skills.
"This team has a lot to live up to after some of the amazing squads we've had in recent years," said Sandy Charboneau, the Bucs' cheerleading manager. "But I have no doubt that it will. We had an unbelievably talented group of women at the tryouts this year, and even though that made it tougher than ever to chose the final squad, that also meant that we ended up with the cream of the crop. I think the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have the best cheerleading squad in the NFL in 2008."
Of the 32 women who comprise this year's cheerleading squad, 20 are returning veterans and 12 are newcomers. The rookies on the squad range from a surgical dental assistant to an interior design coordinator. There are also six returning cheerleaders who have been on the team for at least four years running, including sixth-year veterans Tomoko Kojima and Jennifer Summers
As always, the tryout, interview and selection process was arduous for all involved. It was necessary, however, as the field of applicants this spring was particularly impressive. Potential Buccaneers Cheerleaders know that making the squad can be a life-changing experience, considering the many activities outside of game day in which the team engages. In addition, those who make the squad often end up with life-long friendships with their new teammates. Thus, the competition was fierce; in the end, the perfect team was formed.
So, without further ado, let us introduce the 2008 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders:
|2008 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders|
|Ashley Agan||23||Rookie||Personnel Coordinator|
|Marlana Aref||19||Rookie||Biology Major|
|Lisa Banspach||20||2 Year Veteran||Education Major|
|Maria Cartagena||24||4 Year Veteran||Account Executive|
|Tonilynn Coker||23||Rookie||Mortgage Modification Analyst|
|Corinne Colon||21||Rookie||Advertising Major|
|Britney Craine||24||4 Year Veteran||Business Owner|
|Stephanie Crawley||27||Rookie||Surgical Dental Assistant|
|Timra Drayton||18||Rookie||Liberal Arts Major|
|Milly Figuereo||28||3 Year Veteran||Marketing Assistant|
|Ayae Hamanaka||26||Rookie||Chemistry Graduate from Japan|
|Barbara Hancock||20||4 Year Veteran||Communication Major|
|Jaime Hanna||23||2 Year Veteran||Dental Hygienist|
|Tiffany Jimenez||20||3 Year Veteran||Liberal Arts Major|
|Kelli Jones||30||2 Year Veteran||Promotions Producer|
|Tomoko Kojima||30||6 Year Veteran||Economics Graduate from Japan|
|Ashley Kowal||25||2 Year Veteran||Human Resource Recruiter|
|Kristin McTaggart||21||Rookie||Journalism Major|
|Lauren Rasys||21||Rookie||Interior Design Coordinator|
|Ashton Rel||21||2 Year Veteran||Accounting Major|
|Lori Rumberg||29||3 Year Veteran||Private Investigator|
|Sahara Sears||20||3 Year Veteran||Public Relations Major|
|Holly Sellers||21||2 Year Veteran||Elementary Education Major|
|Taylor Shine||23||2 Year Veteran||Sales Consultant|
|Tramane Shuler||22||3 Year Veteran||Physical Therapy Major|
|Susan Stein||22||Rookie||Marketing Major|
|Roseanne Strobel||21||Rookie||Elementary Education Major|
|Jennifer Summers||26||6 Year Veteran||Mass Communications Major|
|Sara Tetzler||18||2 Year Veteran||Liberal Arts Major|
|Jessica Trainham||22||Rookie||Mass Communications Major|
|Erin Verdel||22||2 Year Veteran||Staffing Recruiter|
|Rachel Watson||22||4 Year Veteran||Elementary Education Major|
The tryout process began in March with a handful of voluntary workshops, with 350 women forming 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.
The 32 women selected to be 2008 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 Australia, California, Europe, the Middle East, Japan, Korea and Hawaii. Members of the squad have appeared in magazine photo spreads and on nationally-televised shows and made countless appearances at community events around the Bay area and beyond. Each year, the team produces an extremely popular swimsuit calendar.
Indeed, there are many exciting days ahead over the next year for the 32 women who became 2008 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders on Friday. For now, just seeing their name on the list above is excitement enough.