INDIANAPOLIS — The buzz of the Indianapolis Colts taking the field for their first game of the season was matched off the field where another group who knows all about the excitement of game day was getting ready.
Over 270 Colts Cheerleader Alumni traveled to Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday to celebrate 40 years of Colts football.
“We had so many cheerleaders that flew in from out of state this weekend just to have this moment to be back on the field and be a part of something really special,” Kelly Tilley, Colts Cheer Director, said.
The cheerleaders would eventually get a chance to perform, but the weekend was just as much about catching up and reminiscing on the memories.
“We’ve been to each other's weddings, been there for our first babies, through our struggles and through our triumphs. To be here and perform together is a great combination of all that,” Megan Roberts, Colts Cheerleader in 2010 and 2012, said.
It was an extra special reunion for the class of ‘84 — the original Colts cheerleading squad from the team’s first year in Indianapolis. They call themselves ‘The OGs’ now.
“It’s exciting because we are a very tight group of ladies. We’re super close. I think we have the most from our squad here at the reunion,” Shelly Waters, member of the first Colts Cheerleading squad, said.
Over 800 women showed up for the inaugural audition in 1984. For those that made the team, wearing the horseshoe remains special all these years later.
“We had never seen Colts cheerleaders out there before. We didn’t have anything to follow,” Waters said. “We were setting new traditions. We were starting the legacy. We wanted to make sure it was a great one.”
Soon it was time for some final warm-ups before the anticipation of lining up in the tunnel.
The ladies performed together again at half-time.
“You kind of forget that feeling, especially as a cheerleader for four years. Towards the end of that time, this was just another day for me. To come back and do it all again was getting that rush all over again,” Abbey Gregory, Colts Cheerleader from 2008 through 2012, said.
The cheerleaders say it goes far beyond the high kicks and sequences — It’s four decades of teammates, sisterhood, community and Colts pride.
“When they have us come back for reunions, we are so excited. We think it’s very special,” Waters said. “We appreciate that they think we can still come out here and do this on the field. It’s a very big honor."