Sunday, May 11, 2008

Holly‚Äôs Hobby 

Posted by James at 6:08 PM ET

Midwest Dave reports from Columbus:

Holly, Columbus Bombshells

One of the definitions of "bombshell" from dictionary.com is "something or someone having a sudden and sensational effect." When the Bombshells dance squad returned to the field after halftime of the Columbus Destroyers game on May 2nd, it was obvious 4-year veteran and captain Holly fit that definition to the highest degree. Her fans cheered and called out her name as her line took their places in the endzone for the second half of the game against the Dallas Desperados.

Holly, Columbus Bombshells
Dance squads play an increasingly important role in the game day experience for pro teams, particularly in the AFL. As the doors opened an hour before game time, the Bombshells greeted fans entering Nationwide Arena. The pre-game festivities included Bombshells riding onto the field on the backs of motorcycles, and, in addition to performing during the game and at halftime, the Bombshells returned for an extended post-game autograph session, where fans line up in droves for autographs from the dance and spirit squads, in addition to the players.

Holly's popularity continued to be demonstrated by the long line waiting for her autograph. Holly was on the first Bombshells squad and the last remaining original member (and she laughs thinking about the uniforms from that first year). She was also selected to perform at the 2005 Arena Bowl XIX in Las Vegas. She was also a former member of the Blue Jackets Pepsi Power Patrol and the Columbus Landsharks Dance Team prior to joining the Bombshells.

Holly, Columbus Bombshells

Holly made a big change in 2006, moving to Cincinnati, and cheering for the Bengals. After the game, I asked Holly about her time with the Ben-Gals, and she said, "I was going to try out last year again for 2007, and I decided to move back home to run my Dad's business along with him. I love being here, and I miss it there, but I love both of them." Asked to compare cheering for the Bombshells and the Ben-Gals, Holly replied, "They are both amazing. I love being indoors though (laughing); never have to worry about weather, but I really loved them both. My heart is here in Columbus just because I am from here and I love the people. This is my fourth year doing this in Columbus so my heart is just engrossed in it; these fans are like my family. But Bengals fans were amazing to me too, I still keep in touch with some of them and I talk to the girls, and they're all doing great."

Holly, Columbus Bombshells

Although Bombshell captains Holly, Kari, and Maggie are franchise veterans, this year they are lead by Roni Petersen, the new Bombshells coach and choreographer. Though new to the Destroyers franchise, Roni has years of experience. I asked Roni how the first season is going, and she said, "Actually is has been fantastic. The ladies are really good and they work very well as a team. They do a great job. This being my first year of coaching the ladies, it's been a learning experience for all of us." More than 50 tried out for this year's squad, and 14 Bombshells are an important part of the Destroyers organization. Great job Roni, Holly, and the rest of the squad!

Holly, Columbus Bombshells

Roni, Bombshell Coach
New Bombshells coach Roni Petersen

Online home of the Bombshells here.

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