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Jay Named Raiderette of the Week

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Jay

Veteran

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Six years.

That's how long veteran Raiderette,  Jay took off before she returned to the Bay Area and decided to once again audition to become a member of Football's Fabulous Females this offseason.

During her first stint as a Raiderette which began in 2002, Jay felt like she had fulfilled the goals that she had set forth when she was initially selected as a member of the team. She had cheered on the Silver and Black at a Super Bowl XXXVII, had been named a captain and was also voted Raiderette of the Year by her teammates.

"Five years is a good run," said Jay. "I was finishing school that year at UCSB and I just thought I was going to retire my Raiderette life."

At the end of the season, Jay hung up her boots and continued on her with life in Santa Barbara, but something was missing.

"I was really just looking for the same kind of energy that I got when I first cheered," she said. "I was looking for a group that would dance full out, the same way the Raiderettes did, and I was looking and looking but I just couldn't find it."

Six years later, Jay accepted an IT recruiting job and once again found herself in the Bay Area, and one day as she was perusing her Instagram feed, she saw that the Raiderettes were holding their annual auditions.

"When I saw that, I was just like, you know what, I might want to try out again," she said. "It was a little crazy to me. Some of my family and friends were like, 'It's been so long, why do you want to go back? You ended on a good note; what if you don't make it back?'"

But make it back she did, and after a six-year break, Jay once again found herself cheering on the Raiders on the sidelines of O.co Coliseum.

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"It was kind of emotional for me," she said when talking about her first game day back in Oakland. "I tried to keep it in because I don't really like to bring that out on game day, but inside as soon as I heard the National Anthem and the Autumn Wind, it just brought back memories. I never thought I would be taken back."

During her six years away from the Raiderettes, many things in Jay's life remained constant, but one thing that changed was her growth as an individual.

"I'm a different person and of course, I'm a little more mature I think," she said. "I started when I was 19 on the team and going into it, I expected there to be changes."

She also received another unexpected surprise in London, as she was one of the Raiderette representatives to light the Al Davis torch prior to their game at Wembley Stadium.

"I've cheered for six years, and so to have been chosen not just to light the torch, but to do it at such an important game, it just made me feel so proud that I was chosen to represent the team."

Jay has been fortunate enough to have a career as of one of Football's Fabulous Females that many would be envious of, and when she finally decides to hang up her boots, she will be doing so with a wealth of memories and gratitude for all of Raider Nation.

"The Raiders have played a huge part in my life and for really most of my twenties. It's just an amazing bond that I've had and that I've been able to build throughout the past 11 years."

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