Tuesday night at The Methodist Training Center, 32 aspiring Houston Texans Cheerleaders were chosen for the 2011 squad. Cheerleading coordinator Alto Gary made the announcement at 6:30, and was relieved after she finished picking the team from a group of 53 finalists. Gary said that some members of this year's crew were decided upon late in the process.
"There were some quetsions even until the last second on some people," Gary explained. "But it's over. It's done. They're here. They've joined the legacy of our first year girls, and it was just amazing."
Gary added a twist to this year's announcement, as she invited more than a dozen of the original cheerleaders to help welcome the 2011 ones, which they did with a rose and a hug.
As for the 2011 cheerleaders, they were chosen after a tryout process that included three rounds over a weekend in early April, and a performance at the 2011 Houston Texans Draft party. In between those tryouts and the party, the 53 finalists practiced multiple times a week in that span. Needless to say, making the squad came as a huge relief to first-timers as well as veterans.
"It feels great," Jermani, who was a rookie in 2010, exclaimed shortly after the announcement. "I am so, so proud of myself and the girls. We did a wonderful job. We did what we had to do, which was practice and dance hard. I'm calm for right now, but when I get home I'll be crying."
Meanwhile, Charlotte, who will be a rookie in 2011 was thankful after being one of the final 32.
"I'm so excited. I'm still shaking from the news. But I'm so blessed to be here right now," she said.
As has been the case throughout the 10-year history of the squad, this year's team will feature a few members who tried out in the past but fell short, only to return again and triumph. Danielle was one who fell into that group.
"It hasn't sunk in yet, but it's a dream come true," Danielle said. "I was like 'Can you repeat the number, just to make sure?' I'm so excited and I can't wait. I was here last year and I made it to the finals. I knew what to do and how to train. I came out here more confident and just went out and did my best."
The 2011 squad will again feature a pair of twins: Dresdynn and Schuyler from Victoria, and Michelle and Rachel from Bellaire. Michelle, Dresdynn and Schuyler were rookies last season, and Rachel decided to join her sister and tried out in 2011. The pair from Bellaire was emotional after they made it.
"I was in the car last year waiting for her to tell me the news," Rachel said. It's a totally different feeling. We both worked so hard."
The team will now start practicing in preparation for next season, and they'll also make numerous appearances at events on behalf of the franchise.