HOUSTON – Before their first cheer, team photo or celebratory selfies, 57 stressed beauties lined up, held hands, forced smiles and then waited.
For nine days the group stood out during Texans Cheerleader tryouts. They out-danced 143 other women. Those who remained included Brianna, who graduated high school last year.
As coach Alto Gary named her roster one by one, Brianna could barely watch. Eventually, she heard her name.
Photos: Meet the 2016-17 Houston Texans Cheerleaders
“I was so overwhelmed with emotions (that) I didn’t know what to do,” she said. “I just kind of sat there and took it all in for a minute. But it’s so exciting when I heard my name get called.”
Some took off running and hugged their coach in celebration.
“I just wanted to rush and hug her because this past week has just been ups and downs and she’s been telling us to get these moves,” said Morgan, who also made the squad.
Flooding last week wiped out two rehearsals and increased pressure even on four-year veteran Madison.
“It was definitely stressful,” she said. “We got our practices through in three days and I think that coach Alto did a really good job. I think we’re going to have a phenomenal season this year.”
Whatever the year brings, the new Texans Cheerleaders can’t wait to start.