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Sun., May. 24, 2015 12:00 AM to 10:59 PM EDT
Mon., May. 25, 2015 12:00 AM to 11:59 PM EDT
Tue., May. 26, 2015 12:00 AM to 11:55 AM EDT
Cheerleader Q & A: Jessica T.
I grew up near Foxborough in Hopedale, Mass. My family has been Patriots fans for a very long time. We even have a Patriots Christmas tree during the holidays every year. We always have Patriots memorabilia up.
When did you attend your first Patriots game?
I decided when I was younger that I wanted my first ever Patriots game to be one I cheered at, so I never attended a Patriots game until this year against the Chargers. I had many opportunities to go to games, but I really wanted to achieve that goal.
Where do you attend school?
I am a student at the University of Connecticut, pursuing my Registered Nursing degree. I have a career goal of becoming an Army officer in the nursing field.
What made you want to study to become a nurse?
I always wanted to help people in some way. I originally studied criminal justice and forensics in fire science because I wanted to do something along the lines of criminal investigation or victim services. The more I learned about different fields of helping people and the opportunities that come with nursing, like the opportunity to join the military, I decided it was a better fit for me.
Do you feel like being a Patriots Cheerleader is taking away from your college experience at all?
Not at all. I'm focusing more on my studies and I'm not as involved as I was at the University of New Haven. As an undergrad there, I was on the cheerleading team and in a sorority and lived on campus. So, I've done all that already. Now that I'm older and going for a different degree, I want to finish school and move on with my career.
You recently had knee surgery...
I tore my ACL dancing and cheerleading. I didn't know that I had torn it, so I continued to dance, work out and walk around on it. I completely destroyed my knee. Doctors told me I'd never be able to run or dance on it again, so I made it my goal to prove them wrong and I did.
What is the best thing about being a Patriots Cheerleader?
There are so many great things about being a Patriots Cheerleader. I'd have to say that my most memorable experience so far was taking the field for the first time for player introductions. Your pom-poms go up in the air and you're jumping up and down. It was a thrill I've never experienced with anything else before. Every time I take the field I get a rush unlike anything else.
What do you want to take away from your experience as a Patriots Cheerleader?
The memories I've already made are more than I could have ever hoped for. Before every game we gather in a circle and Tracy [Sormanti, Cheerleader Director] tells us how great of an experience she's had with different games. Other girls have mentioned to me that the experiences they've had are things they'll never forget. I feel like I've already had some of those experiences. I see us getting together 10 years down the road we'll be able to get together and share the memories even when we aren't wearing the uniform anymore.
The squad seems to be a very close-knit group.
To be honest, I thought it would be a competitive atmosphere. I wasn't sure what to think going into a professional cheerleading team. However, it's very different than I expected in a good way and so much more than I could have hoped for.