This season comes with many firsts for the Indianapolis Colts cheerleading squad. For the rookies it will be their first time performing in front of thousands of Colts fans, for the veterans it will be their first time performing in Lucas Oil Stadium. And this weekend all 40 members are hitting the road for Canton, Ohio and the Hall of Fame Game to cheer on the Colts in their game against the Washington Redskins.
"They're all excited – both rookies and veterans," said Theresa Pottratz, Cheerleader Coordinator.
"Even though the veterans have been Colts cheerleaders it's so different when you go somewhere else. The entire experience of the bus drive, lockerroom, staying in a hotel. It's a lot of fun."
The cheerleaders' gameday schedule is packed tight. They are scheduled to leave Indianapolis at 5:30 Sunday morning. Once they arrive in Canton it will be time to practice on the field.
"They're doing a pregame show at the Hall of Fame game," said Pottratz. "So they've been working on that choreography and getting that cleaned up."
This day has been weeks in the making. Rookies and veterans alike have been working hard to prepare for the road trip and the opening of Lucas Oil Stadium.
"We've already got the new experience of the new stadium, so with this game everything new is double," added Pottratz.
"Our rookies have been working hard to get everything memorized with the lockerrooms and tunnels for Lucas Oil Stadium, but everything with this game everything will be different."
After practice there will have time for lunch at a local restaurant and a quick trip to the hotel to get ready for the evening.
At 5 pm the cheerleaders will begin their 'tailgate appearances' and will visit several tailgating spots outside of the stadium to meet with fans and sign autographs. The preshow performance will begin at 7:30pm.
The entire squad, along with the Washington cheerleaders, will be on the sidelines throughout the game.