Photo: Saints Cheer Roster
NEW ORLEANS, La.- She had a dream of becoming a Saints cheerleader and this 40-year-old mother of two from Hattiesburg made it happen when she tried out and was accepted onto the team.
After three rounds of tryouts, Lewis found out she was one of 36 women selected for the 2014-2015 Saintsations team. Not only did she compete against most girls between the ages of 18 to 30 years old and make the squad, she also fights an incurable kidney disease, but Kriste Lewis says it’s because of her disease she set goals out and is steadily accomplishing each one of them with her drive and the support of her family.
“When she needed to blend with the others, she did, and when she needed to stand out, she did,” the cheerleading squad’s director, Lesslee Fitzmorris, told the Hattiesburg American of Lewis’ performance. “For example, the first audition was a dance audition. None of the judges knew her age and judged her strictly on her presentation and dance ability. The second phase of the audition process was the professional interview. It was during this phase that Kriste stood out. In the final selection process, it was a unanimous decision to put her on the team.”
Lewis is now only one of two NFL cheerleaders age 40 or older. The other is 45-year-old Laura Vikaminis, who has been a member of the Cincinnati Bengals cheerleading team for the past five years.
Lewis hopes to be an inspiration to other women, especially mothers, to continue to follow their dreams.