Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Vets And Rookies Alike Tryout For Bucs Cheerleading Squad
It doesn't matter if you're a rookie or a three-year veteran. It doesn't matter if you were on the squad last season and you were selected to participate in the NFL's Pro Bowl in Hawaii. If you want to be a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders, you have to try out. "They have a little more to lose if when they've already been on the team," Bucs cheerleading coach Sandy Charboneau said. "There's a lot of competition."More than 300 women attended try-outs today and Saturday at the University of South Florida Sun Dome for one of about 30 spots for the 2009-10 squad, Charboneau said. "They're vying for a small percentage of women that can be in the NFL." Even six-year veteran Jennifer Summers auditioned. Her resume includes a selection as a Pro Bowl cheerleader last year. "I'm back. I love this," Summers said. "This is my hobby. This is my passion and my outlet." Summers said auditioning every year evens the playing field. From rookies to veterans, everybody's got a shot at making the squad, she said. Sahara Sears agrees. "I don't think any athlete anywhere should get comfortable with their position," Sears, a three-year veteran said. "I like it. It inspires us." Thirty-one women made the 2008-09 squad. Charboneau, the coach, said she believes the Bucs cheerleaders are one of the most recognizable squads among all NFL cheerleaders. Charboneau said Bucs cheerleaders are often asked to appear in photo shoots for major magazines and to travel overseas to represent the organization. "We are an elite team," she said. "Our girls are beautiful and successful."
Tribune reporter Ray Reyes contributed to this report.