Indianapolis Colts fullback Stanley Havili and his family, his wife Jocelyn and 1-year-old daughter Holiday, in this home in Carmel. Matt Kryger / The Star
If you saw Sasha’s report earlier this year that one of the Pacemates had previously danced for the Utah Jazz and LA Clippers, last Sunday, the Indianapolis Star featured Pacemate Jocelyn and her husband, Colts fullback Stanley Havili.
A trio of fans stood up in front of him, suddenly obstructing his view of center court. But Stanley Havili didn’t panic. He adjusted.
The Colts fullback shifted the grip on his 13-month-old daughter from his right hand to his left. Sitting on the edge of his seat, he leaned forward with his right shoulder and tilted his head slightly to one side. If there was a sliver of daylight to be found in a wall of bodies, Havili was going to find it.
Just as the music started, he did.
And in full view, she appeared.
It was during a timeout, 4:55 left in the third quarter, Pacers ahead, 56-51, over the Chicago Bulls. Paul George had just lit up the crowd at Bankers Life Fieldhouse with a sweet swishing 3-pointer from 24 feet.
But those details meant little to Havili. He doesn’t go to Pacers homes games for basketball. That was especially true on this recent Wednesday night after a nine-hour day at the Colts practice facility.
“There’s mommy,” Havili whispered to his daughter, Holiday. He kissed the crown of her head.
Music blaring, Jocelyn Havili and more than a dozen other members of the Pacemates dance team began performing a routine choreographed to the Nelly rap song “Hot in Herre.” Her long blond hair sweeping from side to side, Jocelyn wore a smile almost as big as her husband’s, who sat across the court — seventh row, section 15 — with Colts linebacker Lawrence Sidbury.
Later that night, a familiar conversation would take place. It’s the way most game days end for Stanley, in his first season with the Colts as starting fullback and a bruising special-teams performer. And for Jocelyn, who’s hitting her stride again as a veteran NBA dancer after taking a season off to have a baby.
“After her basketball games, she does the exact same thing I do after my football games,” Stanley Havili said. “She’ll say stuff like, ‘Did you see me mess up?’ Or, ‘Did you see me on that kick?’
“It’s just like me after football games when I say, ‘Did you see me on that block?’ How do you think I did?’
“It takes her a little bit to unwind after a game, just like me. For both of us, because what we do is so different, it’s like we’re speaking another language. Bottom line, though, is we support each other in all of it.”
* * *
There are all kinds of football families on the Colts; Stanley and Jocelyn Havili’s is just one of them.
“There’s nothing else I’d rather do than play in the NFL, and I’m thankful everyday that I play for the Colts,” said Stanley Havili, who turns 26 today. “But when you have a family, you also have that added responsibility. Our goal every day is to make it a blessing.”
Sweethearts since high school, Stanley and Jocelyn Havili have been married since March 2012, the year after the Philadelphia Eagles made the Southern Cal fullback their seventh-round draft pick.
Both grew up in close-knit Mormon families in Utah. The son of Tongan immigrants, Stanley remembers his father working three jobs, mostly driving buses and other vehicles, in Salt Lake City. As a youngster, Stanley often tagged along on his routes, keeping his dad company.
The sixth of Tevita and Elva’s eight children, Stanley said there weren’t enough beds in the house for all of the kids, but he never considered his family less fortunate than others.
“My family was very close, and that’s the most important thing,” he said.
Now in his third season in the NFL, Stanley Havili’s football career has been growing like his family: Jocelyn gave birth to their first child — Holiday — on Oct. 2, 2012.
After spending 2011 on the Eagles practice squad, Stanley played 15 games at fullback last season, predominantly as a blocker for running backs Bryce Brown and LeSean McCoy. He was acquired by the Colts in a trade last March for defensive end Clifton Geathers.
In a season marked by highs and lows — the Colts are 7-3 after Thursday’s victory at Tennessee — Havili said he’s playing his best football right now. Their head coach would agree.
“It’s not the most glamorous position, we know, in the NFL,” Chuck Pagano said of being a fullback. “It’s one of those that there’s only a select few that will sign up for that job and that duty. He (Havili) loves it and relishes the opportunity to slam himself into linebackers and defensive ends and those types of things. And he’s also athletic enough to catch a ball out of the backfield and run wheel routes and be displaced in different formations and things like that.
“But then again, his production on special teams has been outstanding. He’s just one of those guys that’s really selfless. Anything we ask Stanley to do, he’s more than willing and never says a word.”
On Oct. 20, when Colts running backs coach David Walker told Havili before kickoff in their game against Denver that he “plays the game the way the game is supposed to be played,” the compliment gave Havili an extra boost of confidence.
That night, he scored his first receiving touchdown of the season, a 20-yarder from Andrew Luck. He also played lights-out on special teams, forcing a fumble on a Broncos punt return that led to Darrius Heyward-Bey’s touchdown on the next play. The Colts won, 39-33.
“It’s funny because when you talk to him, he’s very mild-mannered,” tackle Anthony Castonzo said. “But on the field, he has complete reckless abandon, no regard for his own well being, which is pretty awesome.”
Colts tackle Gosder Cherilus said Havili often works out with the offensive linemen. That’s not the only reason he has earned their respect, though.
“A lot of times we’ll say, ‘Hey, Stanley, why don’t you come out to dinner with us?’” Cherilus said. “And he’ll say, ‘Man, it’s time for me to come home and give my wife a break.’ Or, ‘Sorry, but I can’t; I have my daughter for the night.’”
Cherilus shook his head and smiled.
“He understands what it’s like to be a professional athlete, and be married to a beautiful mother of his child,” Cherilus said. “He’s extremely unselfish. Team guy. Family guy. That’s the type of person he is. That’s Stanley.”
The 2013-14 Pacemates Audition Showcase was a smash hit, with 26 finalists performing in front of a large contigent of family, friends, and fans. For the first time ever, this year’s showcase took place on the main floor of Bankers Life Fieldhouse, using the arena’s giant new scoreboard as a backdrop to the stage.
The 26 finalists were selected from over 100 candidates at auditions on Aug. 5 and spent the last 10 days doing photo shoots, interviews, and rehearsing for the showcase. Larra Overton emceed the event, which included ensemble, small group, and individual routines.
In the end, 15 of the finalists were named 2013-14 Indiana Pacemates. In addition to fan voting on PacematesVoting.com, a panel of six judges – including celebrity judge Pacers point guard George Hill – helped pick the final squad.
Your 2013-14 Indiana Pacemates are Kayla, Laura Beth, Brittany, Tamara, Zhanna, Desiree, Jocelyn, Arbara, Erika, Walesska, Travasha, Shelby, Jessica, Jordan, and Britney. You can learn about each member of the squad by visiting IndianaPacemates.com.
Check out the full video replay and highlights from the 2013-14 Pacemates Audition Showcase below. [click here]
Maybe you recognize her. She was a Utah Jazz dancer during the 2007 and 2008 NBA seasons. A couple of years later, she auditioned for the Los Angeles Clippers Spirit, and was a member of that team for the 2010 and 2011 seasons.
Then Jocelyn disappeared for a while. I figured it was the usual. Given the average age of women in the sports entertainment industry, it’s pretty common for women to dance for a couple of years, then get married, have babies, and move on into a completely different phase of their lives. Not so, with Jocelyn.
Jocelyn got married. She had a baby.
But she’s not finished dancing. In fact Jocelyn was just selected to the 2013-14 Indiana Pacers dance team. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer lady.
It’s been an interesting couple of years. Jocelyn is originally from Utah. That’s how she got involved with the Jazz. When her high school sweetheart moved to Los Angeles to play football for the University of Southern California, she came with him. That’s when she got involved with the Clippers. Then her boyfriend went pro. He was drafted by the Eagles so the two of them packed up and moved to Philly. And got married. And had a baby. Then her husband was traded to the Colts, so the little family of three moved to Indy. And I guess Jocelyn felt the itch again. Just had to dig those jazz shoes out of storage. So congrats to Jocelyn on making the team, in addition to all of the blessings that have come your way in the last few years. A husband in the NFL, a ten month old baby, and she not only found the time to get back in shape, but looks better than ever.
Just as last Sunday’s Indy 500′s flying start featured the first row of the three speediest drivers roaring past the start/finish line, the 56th IPL 500 Festival Parade needed a triple boost to match its theme, “Turbocharging Indy.” So what better way to kick off the parade with the Indianapolis pro cheer triple threat of the combined Pacemates, Colts Cheerleaders, and the Colts Alumni Cheerleaders! In addition to a routine with the three squads on their own, they then danced during the parade’s opening singing number performed by country music’s Tate Stevens.
With the Pacemates in their Memorial Day weekend traditional checkered tops, the Colts Cheerleaders in uniform, and the Colts Cheer Alumni in their blue tops and silver poms, the parade had a perfect injection of energy! And if you remember, last November Colts Cheerleaders Megan (above) and Crystal Anne (below left) had their hair shaven during a game to support Colts coach Chuck Pagano, who was fighting cancer. Well, Megan is now an alumni, and Crystal Anne is back on the squad, and their locks are returning quite nicely!
We asked veteran Colts Cheerleader Allie (pictured above right) about this unique performance venue:
What was it like to perform on the unique “stage” to open the parade?
Allie: Performing at the start line of the Indy 500 Parade was exhilarating and surreal. We were joined by 50 of our Alumni, as well as the Indiana Pacemates, to perform a short dance number around an Indy 500 pace car centerpiece. After that performance wrapped up, Tate Stevens (winner of this season of The X-Factor) emerged from the pace car, surprising the crowd, to perform his hit single, “Holler If You’re With Me”.
Dancing to his flawless live performance in front of such an electric crowd coupled with a finale of streamers and confetti shooting in to the stands made for one of my top five favorite appearances in my three years as a Colts cheerleader!
What was the experience of walking in Indiana’s largest parade like?
Allie: Having the honor of leading the 2013 Indy 500 Parade down the streets of Indianapolis surrounded by a crowd of nearly 300,000 was something I never envisioned having the opportunity to experience! My cheerleading career has consisted of a number of local small town parades, however, the Indy 500 Parade was in a different league. At a certain point on the parade route, I began to compare the experience to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The animated floats, character balloons, and energetic crowds were dazzling!
Did you like being able to perform with Pacemates and ICC Alumni?
Allie: The Indianapolis Colts are in our 30th year as an organization so being able to celebrate that accomplishment with members from each of the 30 squads was such a special opportunity. We met at the training facility to practice a couple weeks before our big performance and were able to get to know the alumni and hear stories of their experiences. One highlight was hearing from one of the original Colts Cheerleaders about a surreal and hilarious moment while browsing an antique shop and finding a photo of her 1984 squad for sale!
What are you looking forward to as next big events for the Colts Cheerleaders this summer?
Allie: This is an exciting time to be a Colts cheerleader. We have a few photo shoots coming up in the next couple of weeks including our annual swimsuit calendar, our training camp to prepare routines is upon us, and most exciting of all is that the beginning of another winning football season is just a few months away! GO COLTS!
Thanks Allie for sharing your thoughts about this experience!
So the parade gave us a chance to see the cross-section of seasons, with the Pacemates still cheering on the Pacers in the Eastern Conference championship series, and the Colts Cheerleaders preparing for an NFL pre-season that will be here before we know it. Maybe both the Pacers and Colts can add another parade to Indy’s future: championship parades! “Holler If You’re With Me” on that one Tate!
Pacemates Elizabeth and Jessica prior to last night's game
Ahh, romance is in the air; Valentine’s Day, a time to show our loved ones how much we care. In this sometimes mixed-up, crazy world, we need a day devoted to the goodness of wonderful love.
And Indiana’s sports fans love the Pacemates, the dance team of the Indiana Pacers. So what a wonderful group of young women to share their views about this special day. The Pacemates provided UltimateCheerleaders with their thoughts regarding three topics:
1) What is your favorite romantic movie?
2) What Valentine’s Day advice can you give to guys without a lot of money?
3) Life may be like a box of chocolates, but some people say that the traditional box of chocolate needs a healthy replacement. So let’s ask the super healthy Pacemates what they would replace it with, if at all!
First, Elizabeth and Jessica were signing autographs in the lower concourse. Here is what they said about:
Jessica, “I would have to say The Notebook”
Elizabeth, “Yes, that is my favorite, too”
AFFORDABLE VALENTINE’S IDEAS:
Jessica, “The little things are what matter the most. It doesn’t have to be real extravagant. Really, anything that has thought behind it is good for me, whether it is a picture in a frame or just a sweet note.”
Elizabeth, “Good answer. I’m going to go with that.”
A BOX OF CHOCOLATE, OR NOT?: Well, certainly Elizabeth is so very agreeable, so let’s have her go first this time…
Elizabeth, “I don’t know if anything can replace chocolate. Chocolate covered strawberries are really good. That is a good healthy alternative.”
Jessica, “The edible bouquets, like fruit, is good.”
Jordan and Sarrah were helping out near the entry pavillion.
Jordan and Sarrah
Jordan, “The one that always makes me cry is PS I Love You”
Sarrah, “Down with Love it is such a funny movie! It’s adorable!”
AFFORDABLE VALENTINE’S IDEAS:
Jordan, “A card always works.”
Sarrah, “Write a poem or a card. And do a lttle skit, they do it on the internet, they have little boards with (motioning showing a series of cards) “I”, “LOVE’ “YOU.” Those are really cute.”
Jordan, “Or a mix CD of love songs.”
Sarrah, “Or breakfast in bed is always awesome.”
A BOX OF CHOCOLATE, OR NOT?:
Jordan, “I love my chocolate. Nope!”
Sarrah, “If you want to replace it, maybe strawberries.”
Bethany and Erika were helping hand out programs in the entry pavillion, and ready to inform our Valentine’s Day queries,
Bethany and Erika
Bethany, “PS I Love You”
Erika, “I don’t think I have one. I LOVE scary movies!”
AFFORDABLE VALENTINE’S IDEAS:
Erika, “Create something, like paint a picture frame. Do a little ‘favorite things’ basket, like her favorite candy, favorite soap, favorite lotion.”
Bethany, “It is the thought that counts. Once I filled up a bunch of balloons filled with little inside jokes, like a one-hundred different ones, and I filled the room with them. So he had to go through and pop them all and open them”
Erika, “A coupon book!”
A BOX OF CHOCOLATE, OR NOT?:
Bethany, “How bout chocolate covered strawberries?!”
Erika, “Yes, I agree with that.”
In the upper concourse, Walesska and Megan were also at an autograph table, and ready to help out!
Walesska and Megan
Megan, “The Notebook”
Walesska, “The Vow”
AFFORDABLE VALENTINE’S IDEAS:
Megan, “Honestly, its not about the money.”
Walesska, “It’s not.”
Megan, “It’s the little things that matter. They have the online Valentine’s cards, you can send an email.”
Walesska, “Do something creative.”
A BOX OF CHOCOLATE, OR NOT?:
Walesska, “Fruits! Edible arrangements.”
Megan, “Yes! Edible arrangements.”
Thanks Pacemates so much for sharing some Valentine’s Day information! Some great hints, and if anyone doesn’t have a special someone today, don’t fret, that lil ol’ Cupid is out there, and he will catch up to you with the power of one of his arrows when you least expect it!
The final nine members of the Pacemates team for this upcoming season were announced Thursday afternoon on Pacers.com. Five members were announced Tuesday night after the “Pacemates Showcase” at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. That evening, four veterans—Desiree, Bethany, Sarrah and Tamara—joined rookie Walesska as the first members chosen. (Watch their finalist showcase)
The remaining team members were chosen and announced Thursday. Filling out the Pacemates roster for the 2012-13 campaign are Arbara, Brittany, Elizabeth, Erika, Jessica, Jordan, Kayla, Megan and Travasha.