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Revved up: A game with Walpole resident, Revolution cheerleader Christina Attaway

By Brittney McNamara
The Walpole Times
Sept 30, 2013

WALPOLE —

Just before halftime, Christina Attaway, a soft-spoken 23 year old, tightened the carbon dioxide tank on the t-shirt gun she held at her side under glaring stadium lights, ready to launch navy blue shirts into the screaming crowd of about 13,000 seated just above her perch in the south tunnel of Gillette Stadium.

Walpole native Attaway won a spot on the Rev Girls team – the brand ambassadors and sometimes-cheerleaders for New England Revolution soccer – from a pool of 20 women for one of 10 open spots, using what she called her outgoing personality and people skills to nab the job. Working the crowd both before and during the game, Attaway’s energy reverberated through the stadium, adding to the atmosphere that she said she’s grown to love.

Though Attaway spends her days working for a Newbury Street graphic design firm, she translates her years of cheer experience into a professional gimmick at night. After cheering with Pop Warner teams in Walpole, Attaway moved on to competitive cheerleading. Though the Rev Girls don’t dance or flip, Attaway uses her well-trained smile and people skills in her new position.

“I like to talk to people, I like socializing,” she said. “I love being able to share my knowledge, getting the word out there.”

The self described people-person got the job after auditioning in Providence for the part, becoming interested in the position through one of her friends who cheerleads for the New England Patriots. Though she said the Rev Girls are similar to other professional cheerleading teams, Attaway said the difference lies in the fan interaction.

As a Rev Girl, Attaway said her job is to educate people about the team, attract new fans, and connect with existing ones.

“I love the fans. They’re so different from other sports teams,” she said, adding that kids made up a large part of the fan base.

During halftime, Attaway purposely shot a t-shirt to two kids in the front row of a middle section, saying they were too cute to resist. Many of the voices screaming for her attention were small, those of children. Most of the rest came from Attaway’s other favorite fan base, the die-hards in what is called The Fort.

The Fort is a section at the north end of the stadium filled with face-painted, flag-bearing, horn-blowing men and women who show up at every game. These fans help make up the atmosphere that Attaway said she has grown to love.

“They’re awesome,” Attaway said about the Fort fans. “They’re so crazy-passionate about the Revs. It’s just the atmosphere in general, you kind of fall into loving them. It’s so much fun.”

Before the game, Attaway stood in the plaza outside the stadium entrance, greeting fans and taking pictures. She adjusted her light brown hair, smiled and posed for picture after picture with fans of all ages. Despite the hoards of fans vying for her attention, Attaway came up with different comments and conversations for each one.

“It’s unbelievable,” she said of the number of people who want to talk to her. “I definitely like to stop and give everyone attention.”

Chosen as one of eight new Rev Girls, the team supervisor Danielle Rines said she picked Attaway because of her enthusiasm and overall joie de vivre.

“I wanted girls who are positive, genuine, outgoing,” Rines said. “She encompasses all of it.”

Attaway proved Rines right when she stopped on her way into the stadium to talk to a little girl.

“I remember you,” she said to the girl. ” I remember your pretty dress.”

The girl grinned and blushed, her eyes lighting up.

This is the essence of Attaway’s job with the Rev Girls. She takes her excitement for the team, and sends it rippling through the crowd through one-on-one interactions, and through the t-shirt gun.

“I really like it here,” Attaway said, adding she plans to stick around with the team for the foreseeable future. “I’m very happy being a Rev Girl.”

Norton Native Makes the Cut at New England Revolution’s Rev Girls Final Audition

Anne Marie Conde selected as one of eight new members.
Norton Patch
March 15, 2012

The New England Revolution soccer team selected eight new members to add to its “Rev Girl” squad Tuesday night during a heated audition at the Greatest Bar. Anne Marie Conde, a Norton native, beat out the competition by landing a final spot as a new 2012 Rev Girl.

A slew of celebrity judges including The Voice’s James Massone from Wakefield, NESN Daily’s Dara McIntosh and BostonTweet’s Tom O’Keefe helped to narrow the field of 17 Rev Girl prospects down to the final eight, based on three audition rounds that tested their minds, team spirit and ability to excite a crowd.

During the first round, emcee Dave Russo, a local comedian and DirtyWater TV personality, quizzed the 17 contestants on Revolution team trivia. Following the team trivia, the contestants broke off into groups, where they were given 10 minutes to learn the team chant from veteran Rev Girls, and went on to perform for the judges and crowd.

The third component of the audition was to judge the girls on their fan involvement. One of the primary tasks of the Rev Girls is to act as brand ambassadors at community events, so candidates were turned loose on the crowd and asked to interact, engage and handout swag. It was a close competition and in the end the following prospects prevailed.

Katerina Akrivlellis (Dover, Mass.) – 20

Anne Marie Conde (Norton, Mass.) – 25

Kimberly Howe (Boston, Mass.) – 22

Holly Johnson (Tyngsborough, Mass.) – 26

Kelsey Kneeland (Shrewsbury, Mass.) – 22

Anjha Thomas (Ashland, Mass.) – 21

Danielle Tousignane (Chelmsford, Mass.) – 22

Jessica May Wright (Manchester, N.H.) – 21

Bring on the Rev Girls!

By Megan Johnson
Boston Herald
March 18, 2012

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Paula Abdul, Madonna, even Snooki: Some of the most famous stars in Hollywood scored their first starring roles at the top of a pep rally pyramid.

That’s right, before they rose to fame for spewing nonsense at talent-show contestants, Voguing, or inappropriate pregnancies, each of those ladies was once a high school cheerleader.

So in the spirit of hunting down the next Madonna — and possibly seeing a girl fall off the top of a pyramid — I jumped at the chance to judge the final auditions for the 2012 Rev Girls squad, the New England Revolution’s pom-pom girls. After all, I have seen “Bring it On” about 50 times, so I think I’m pretty qualified.

The event was emceed by Boston comic Dave Russo, who was VERY eager to tell me that he came in second on a reality show a few years ago (“The Entertainer,” hosted by Wayne Newton. Remember it? Didn’t think so…)

Along with my esteemed co-judges (Translation: Fellow media folk and “The Voice” star James Massone, who’s currently prepping to compete on Cee Lo Green’s team) we packed into The Greatest Bar. There, I helped whittle the 17 finalists down to eight winners based on four areas of expertise: trivia knowledge, overall appearance, group cheering, and crowd interaction.

The best moment by far came during the trivia portion of our program, when the ladies had the opportunity to share their vast knowledge on the sport of soccer and the Revs.

“Name five players on the New England team,” asked Russo.

You could have heard crickets. Not a single hand shot up, so Dave had to go with his plan B, which was to “name one member of the New England team.” That was a much more successful pursuit.

But despite your assumptions about cheerleaders, the lovely women were a pretty diverse crew.

“I’m a lifelong dancer, and I’ve always wanted to get into it professionally,” said Kelsey Kneeland, a brainy redhead who’s studying strategic management and entrepreneurship at Babson College. “I’ve always been in a sorority, but I’m graduating from college in May and I want to stay a part of an organization.”

Way to use that business degree, Kels!

When all was yelled and done, the eight new Rev Girls are: Dover homegal Katerina Akrivlellis, Kelsey Kneeland from Shrewsbury, Jessica May Wright from Manchester, N.H., Tyngsboro gal Holly Johnson, Anne Marie Conde from Norton, Ashland’s Anjha Thomas, Danielle Tousignant of Chelmsford and Kimberly Howe from Boston.

Rah, rah, rah.

Scenes from Rev Girls Finals

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nerevolution/sets/72157629596893591/with/6841035494/