Rookie of the Year Jennifer, Dancers of the Year Asha and Chelsea and 2010 Raiderette of the Year Natalie pose for a photo during halftime of the Raiders 39-23 win over the Denver Broncos on December 29, 2010. Photo by Tony Gonzales.
During halftime of the Raiders home game vs. the Denver Broncos last Sunday, the Raiderettes announced that Natalie, a co-captain and third year veteran, has been selected as the Raiderette of the Year.
"It was really overwhelming," said Natalie. "I knew it was my name called, but I had to process that first. I was in complete shock. It took me a good few hours just to process that my teammates had actually thought of me for that award. It was very overwhelming and very exciting."
Natalie graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor's degree in Economics and a Minor in Italian. She aspires to be a retail buyer and own her own boutique clothing store. While she pursues these goals, Natalie has enjoyed being a part of the Raiderettes for three years. "It's so rewarding this year because we had to work that much harder to stay together and look and perform the way Raiderettes usually do on the field," said Natalie. "It's been a very rewarding season and winning this award makes it all that much better."
As the Raiderette of the Year, Natalie will represent the Raiders at the 2011 Pro Bowl in Hawaii. "I'm very excited and I'm a little nervous," said Natalie. "I want to do my best and show them what we Raiderettes do and how hard we work and that we are the best in the NFL. There's pressure but I think I'm up for the challenge and I love a challenge and that's why I keep coming back to do the Raiderettes."
Winning this award by a vote of her teammates has been an exciting and special experience for Natalie. "I've seen other girls win this award and I just never thought I'd be where they were standing," she said. "It takes a lot of work to get that vote from your peers and your friends. It's a huge honor just to be thought of in that position."
Three other Raiderette awards were presented this past Sunday. Asha and Chelsea were named Dancers of the Year and Jennifer earned Rookie of the Year.