Ultimate Cheerleaders

Waltham Woman Ready to Cheer on the Pats

Joyce Kelly
Daily News

It wasn’t long ago that 20-year-old Jessica Aiello stood in line at the Burlington Mall, eagerly awaiting a chance to meet Patriots Cheerleaders and snag a few autographs.

Now, Aiello is signing autographs for young girls, juggling a hectic schedule of cheerleading practice and promotions for the Patriots.

In mid-March, Aiello, who captained the cheerleading team at Waltham High School before she graduated in 2007, beat out about 300 women for a spot on the New England Patriots cheerleading team.


The competition was stiff, with cheerleaders from all over Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York City and one even hailing from China – vying for a coveted position, she said.

“I was very nervous. You never really know what’s going to happen. It all depends on that day, if you perform to your best. It was very nerve-wracking,” said Aiello.

Aiello has been perfecting the art of cheering since she was just 9 years old, rooting in the Pop Warner League. She continued cheering in middle school and at Waltham High, helping bring home second place in the Greater Boston League cheering competition her sophomore year.

“I definitely always wanted to be a Patriots Cheerleader, being a huge Patriots fan,” she said.

Aiello is studying dental hygiene at Middlesex Community College, where there is no cheerleading squad, she said.

So rather than waiting until she finished college to pursue her dream of being a Patriots Cheerleader, she tried out her first year of college.

She made the finals last year, but didn’t make the cut.

After speaking with other Patriots Cheerleaders, she learned that a number of young women didn’t make it the first time they tried out. Pats Cheerleaders have to try out every year to stay on the team, she said.

Aiello, who says her best moves are jumps and tumbles, is still getting used to her dream being a reality.

Her days are filled with college classes, practices twice a week, a lot of training camp promotions, selling calendars and signing autographs for fans, she said.

“It’s really weird – I always think, ‘They want an autograph from me?’ It’s a very surreal feeling,” she said, laughing.”

“But it’s a lot of fun,” she said.

The Cheerleaders certainly have a good contingent of male fans, she said, but the biggest fans seem to be young Cheerleaders, like she was.

The best part of being a Patriots Cheerleader, she said, “is meeting all the girls and having so many new friends, and being able to talk to all these Patriots fans – we love them.”

“Being able to cheer at the Patriots’ games it’s very exciting,” she said.

Aiello will make her debut on the team on Aug. 20, at the preseason football game.

Tracy Sormanti, the Cheerleader Director for the New England Patriots Cheerleading Squad, called Aiello “a talented performer with a wonderful personality.”

“She works hard at rehearsals, is very personable at appearances and is a great asset to the New England Patriots Cheerleading Squad,” Sormanti said.

Aiello has already done a promotion with the Patriots in early July, she said, but the Cheerleaders don’t really mingle with the football players.

Said Aiello: “I just love the whole team aspect of it, and just performing and getting the crowing going for the football game.”

[Jessica at Patriots.com]

About the Author

James, East Coast Correspondent