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Ruff Riders to host cheerleaders tryouts
Team continues improvement efforts for second season

Chronicle Correspondent

The Katy Ruff Riders are planning to become even bigger, better and louder for the upcoming 2008 season; not only on the field, but also on the sidelines with its cheerleading squad.

"We have spent the entire off-season doing everything possible to improve our business module, from upgrading the corporate offices, to making improvements with the game-day concessions at the Merrell Center, so why stop there?" Ruff Riders Managing Partner David Iglinsky asked. "We feel as though our cheerleading team is a vital part of our operations and will continue to play a key role in representing the Ruff Riders out in the community."

The professional indoor football team, plans to increase the number of the squad from eight to perhaps as many as 20-25 this year.

In order to facilitate that process, the team has hired Jennifer Connor to lead the charge as the squad's new director and choreographer. The Tulane graduate and former Green Wave cheerleader is ready and eager to cast her creative influence.

"I have passionately been involved with dance and choreography as far back as the age of five or so, and this opportunity provides the perfect platform for me to bring my creative and organizational skills to the forefront," Connor said.

Along with years of sideline experience as a Division I college cheerleader, Connor has been involved with a plethora of projects in recent years that she believes has her well prepared to handle her new exciting duties.

"I am hoping to draw from my participation in both the Miss Louisiana and Miss Texas pageants in recent years, which I hope will enable me to elevate our style and presentation," Connor said."Both qualities are essential when it comes to performing within the frenzy of a professional entertainment landscape."

Connor, who originally hails from New Orleans and relocated to Houston two years ago due to Hurricane Katrina, has also found time during her copious endeavors to give back to the community.

She established the Starlette Cheerleading and Dance Academy a few years back, which helps young women and children learn the art of dance.

"Dancing and performing have always been very dear to my heart," Connor said. "So my goal as director is to find a great group of ladies that not only demonstrates a superior level of talent, energy and charisma, but who also convey a similar attitude and appreciation for the sport as a proud representative of the Katy Ruff Riders."

Auditions will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1, at the Westwood South Gymnastics Cheer & Dance in Katy, and will be closed to the public. All participants must be 18-years of age and will be expected to arrive on time and properly prepared to perform. There is also a $25 registration fee.

Those selected for the team must be available to perform during the team's seven scheduled home games that are played at the Leonard E. Merrell Center in Katy from early March through June of 2008. Participation will also be expected for various other special events scheduled throughout the year.

For additional details and more important information about the audition process, please visit or contact Jennifer Connor at 713-376-6626.